Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Glimpses of Beauty.

I was driving back to school in the early morning dark, and rain and wind were whipping around my car. As I rounded a corner on an old country road past a rambling white farmhouse, I glanced into the windows, brightly lit, spilling golden warmth into the darkness. An elderly couple was sitting at the kitchen table with mugs of coffee. I only saw them for a second, but that moment stayed with me. I felt like I had witnessed the “unsought beauty” that Lewis wrote about in his early poetry. How beautiful to see enduring relationships, shared over an early cup of coffee on a rainy winter morning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Thanksgiving Holidays.

Younger times.
When I was in high school my family drove to my grandparent's home in Michigan to spend the Thanksgiving holidays. We'd stay in the guest cottage next door, mom and dad in the bedroom, and my brothers and I in sleeping bags in the living room.

It usually snowed that weekend and the day after Thanksgiving we drove to a little ranch nestled in trees and went on a sleigh ride. The horses were big and black and strung with red jingle bells. We slid through forest as the sun set and sang Christmas carols as the shadows turned the snow blue gray.

And my aunt welcomed us back with turkey noodle soup and hot apple cider.

And there was always pie and late night card games, and laughter.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home again, Home again, jiggety jig.

A few weeks ago in October, I went home and carved pumpkins.
(mine's the one on the right with the bow tie)

Some good friends and I carved them in the park on a Sunday afternoon.
I'm going home again this weekend, and I can't wait.
My mom tells me she has apples to make applesauce and a new movie to watch together.
And one of my brothers is coming home.

and I'll probably bake a little.
muffins or a cake
or something.

Life is busy, but I'm keeping up
and making time for more than busy.

I'm ready for a break.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

T is for Time.

Lately, I've been busy, so busy I have to map out my days in the morning so that every minute will count towards something.
It's exhausting.
A few weeks ago, after fall break, a speaker came to chapel and told us that ever since the invention of the clock, people have been ruled by time, by the steady motion of the clock, ticking away minutes, seconds. Some cultures ignore the steady movement of time and choose to live beyond the constraints of tightly blocked out days. Lunch may stretch into a couple hours or an afternoon coffee date may turn into dinner. Time passes, but it is not recorded.
Lately I've found myself longing for freedom from schedules. I don't want to live ruled by time. I want to live within time. But is this possible in such a fast paced country? Is it practical?
I don't wish to ignore time, for I want to use time wisely. But I don't want to rush through life, trying to keep up with the clock, either.
Balance. It's difficult to live within time rather than under it's steady hand.
In The Tempest, Prospero says,
“we are such stuff / As dreams are made on, and our little life / Is rounded with a sleep”
Prospero comprehends man’s mortality, that man’s life is as delicate as a dream, condensing the hours into seconds until life fades into an eternal sleep  
He also understands the concept of time, and is able to act wisely and influentially within the little life he is given, acting with grace and mercy towards those around him.
I so desperately long to learn to live within time, using it wisely as Prospero did, and as Jesus did on his time on earth. But right now, I feel ruled by time. Perhaps someday I will learn.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall Break Beginnings.

"A is for autumn -
blazing colors so bright.
Cider mills, pumpkins,
and Halloween night."

- J is for Jack-O'-Lantern

[Indian corn from the Corner Market near my house]

 My fall break began with pancakes and a new book. Hmmm.
I was planning on writing about my fall plans, of pumpkins and baking and apples.
But I will leave you with a Hopkins poem instead:

"Hurrahing in Harvest" 
Gerard Manley Hopkins

  Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks rise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet give you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic - as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet! -
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Banana Bread.

The first half of this semester has all but disappeared. Fall break begins Friday (thank goodness). Already it's been one of the best years. Why? Because I have made it that way.
I stumbled upon this quote at the end of summer, and immediately made it my desktop background.

"beauty in the everyday is beauty you can hope for" -- seth simonds

I have chosen to find the beautiful in the days so far. Sometimes it's easier to see than others. Sometimes I don't want to see it, but it's always worth trying to glimpse beauty, because then you know that you are alive.
The beautiful things make us feel alive.

So here's a few wonderful things...
 winding roads in Tennessee...
banana bread (I've made so much this semester. It's the perfect brain food)
and all the time I've spent with the people here in Tennessee.

Here's to living life with vitality.
I hope you do.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hiding Place.

"Hiding Place" 
Amidst the sorrows of the way
Lord Jesus, teach my soul to pray
Let me taste Thy special grace
And run to Christ, my hiding place

You know the vileness of my heart
So prone to act the rebel's part
And when You veil Your lovely face
How can I find a hiding place

Hiding place, hiding place

Lord, guide my wandering feet
Draw me to Thy mercy seat
I've nought to trust but sovereign grace
Thou only art my hiding place

How unstable is my heart
Sometimes I take the tempter's part
And slight the tokens of Thy grace
And seem to want no hiding place

Hiding place, hiding place

But when Thy spirit shines within
Makes me feel the plague of sin
And how I long to see Thy face
'Tis then I want a hiding place

Lord Jesus, shine and then I can
Feel sweetness in salvation's plan
And as a sinner plead for grace
Christ, the sinner's hiding place
And as a sinner plead for grace
Christ, the sinner's hiding place

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beautiful Today.

Summer keeps slipping further away...
but fall is coming and I love the changing leaves
the crisp skies
and cool breezes.

And  I love these apple blocks from Etsy. 
A perfect blend of summer and fall,
to ease you into the new season.

I stretched summer to its limit and now I'm 
going to do the same for fall.
That means trips to the apple barn in TN,
Picking apples at the Orchard in OH,
Carving pumpkins,
baking pumpkin-y things with lots of cinnamon

And appreciating each day.
I'm so bad at seeing the beauty in the everyday.
But I'm getting better at seeing the everyday beauty,
and my life is richer because of it.
Happy September!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Moonless, this June Night

I should be doing many things besides blogging, like reading for Bible class, annotating sources for my thesis. But instead I want to tell you about an essay I just read. Well, no, actually I'm not going to tell you about it, I'm just going to post it for you to read, because I don't want to stumble over words when Aldous Huxley is so eloquent (and I would be doing what Huxley warns against). 

I hope you enjoy this essay as much as I did, and I hope it makes you aware.

"Music at Night"
 Aldous Huxley

Moonless, this June night is all the more alive with stars. Its darkness is perfumed with faint gusts from the blossoming lime trees, with the smell of wetted earth and the invisible greenness of the vines. There is silence; but a silence that breathes with the soft breathing of the sea and, in the thin shrill noise of a cricket, insistently, incessantly harps on the fact of its own deep perfection. Far away, the passage of a train is like a long caress, moving gently, with an inexorable gentleness, across the warm living body of the night. Music, you say; it would be a good night for music. But I have music here in a box, shut up, like one of those bottled djinns in the Arabian Nights, and ready at a touch to break out of its prison. I make the necessary mechanical magic, and suddenly, by some miraculously appropriate coincidence (for I had selected the record in the dark, without knowing what music the machine would play), suddenly the introduction to the Benedictus in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis begins to trace its patterns on the moonless sky. The Benedictus. Blessed and blessing, this music is in some sort the equivalent of the night, of the deep and living darkness, into which, now in a single jet, now in a fine interweaving of melodies, now in pulsing and almost solid clots of harmonious sound, it pours itself, stanchlessly pours itself, like time, like the rising and falling, falling trajectories of a life. It is the equivalent of the night in another mode of being, as an essence is the equivalent of the flowers, from which it is distilled. There is, at least there sometimes seems to be, a certain blessedness lying at the heart of things, a mysterious blessedness, of whose existence occasional accidents or providences (for me, this night is one of them) make us obscurely, or it may be intensely, but always fleetingly, alas, always only for a few brief moments aware. In the Benedictus Beethoven gives expression to this awareness of blessedness. His music is the equivalent of this Mediterranean night, or rather of the blessedness as it would be if it could be sifted clear of irrelevance and accident, refined and separated out into its quintessential purity. “Benedictus, benedictus. . .” One after another the voices take up the theme propounded by the orchestra and lovingly mediated through a long and exquisite solo (for the blessedness reveals itself most often to the solitary spirit) by a single violin. “Benedictus, benedictus. . .” And then, suddenly, the music dies; the flying djinn has been rebottled. With a stupid insect-like insistence, a steel point rasps and rasps the silence. At school, when they taught us what was technically known as English, they used to tell us to “express in our own words” some passage from whatever play of Shakespeare was at the moment being rammed, with all its annotations — particularly the annotations — down our reluctant throats. So there we would sit, a row of inky urchins, laboriously translating “now silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies” into “now smart silk clothes lie in the wardrobe,” or “To be or not to be” into “I wonder whether I ought to commit suicide or not.” When we had finished, we would hand in our papers, and the presiding pedagogue would give us marks, more or less, according to the accuracy with which “our own words” had “expressed” the meaning of the Bard. He ought, of course, to have given us naught all round with a hundred lines to himself for ever having set us the silly exercise. Nobody’s “own words,” except those of Shakespeare himself, can possibly “express” what Shakespeare meant. The substance of a work of art is inseparable from its form; its truth and its beauty are two and yet, mysteriously, one. The verbal expression of even a metaphysic or a system of ethics is very nearly as much of a work of art as a love poem. The philosophy of Plato expressed in the “own words” of Jowett is not the philosophy of Plato; nor in the “own words” of, say, Billy Sunday, is the teaching of St. Paul St. Paul’s teaching. “Our own words” are inadequate even to express the meaning of other words; how much more inadequate, when it is a matter of rendering meanings which have their original expression in terms of music or one of the visual arts! What, for example, does music “say”? You can buy at almost any concert an analytical program that will tell you exactly. Much too exactly; that is the trouble. Every analyst has his own version. Imagine Pharaoh’s dream interpreted successively by Joseph, by the Egyptian soothsayers, by Freud, by Rivers, by Adler, by Jung, by Wohlgemuth: it would “say” a great many different things. Not nearly so many, however, as the Fifth Symphony has been made to say in the verbiage of its analysts. Not nearly so many as the Virgin of the Rocks and the Sistine Madonna have no less lyrically said. Annoyed by the verbiage and this absurd multiplicity of attributed “meanings,” some critics have protested that music and painting signify nothing but themselves; that the only things they “say” are things, for example, about modulations and fugues, about color values and three-dimensional forms. That they say anything about human destiny or the universe at large is a notion which these purists dismiss as merely nonsensical. If the purists were right, then we should have to regard painters and musicians as monsters. For it is strictly impossible to be a human being and not to have views of some kind about the universe at large, very difficult to be a human being and not to express those views, at any rate by implication. Now, it is a matter of observation that painters and musicians are not monsters. Therefore. . . The conclusion follows, unescapably. It is not only in program music and problem pictures that composers and painters express their views about the universe. The purest and most abstract artistic creations can be, in their own peculiar language, as eloquent in this respect as the most deliberately tendencious. Compare, for example, a Virgin by Piero della Francesca with a Virgin by Tura. Two Madonnas — and the current symbolical conventions are observed by both artists. The difference, the enormous difference between the two pictures is a purely pictorial difference, a difference in the forms and their arrangement, in the disposition of the lines and planes and masses. To any one in the least sensitive to the eloquence of pure form, the two Madonnas say utterly different things about the world. Piero’s composition is a welding together of smooth and beautifully balanced solidities. Everything in his universe is endowed with a kind of supernatural substantiality, is much more “there” than any object of the actual world could possibly be. And how sublimely rational, in the noblest, the most humane acceptation of the word, how orderedly philosophical is the landscape, are all the inhabitants of this world! It is the creation of a god who “ever plays the geometer.” What does she say, this Madonna from San Sepolcro? If I have not wholly mistranslated the eloquence of Piero’s forms, she is telling us of the greatness of the human spirit, of its power to rise above circumstance and dominate fate. If you were to ask her, “How shall I be saved?” “By Reason,” she would probably answer. And, anticipating Milton, “Not only, not mainly upon the Cross,” she would say, “is Paradise regained, but in those deserts of utter solitude where man puts forth the strength of his reason to resist the Fiend.” This particular mother of Christ is probably not a Christian. Turn now to Tura’s picture. It is fashioned out of a substance that is like the living embodiment of flame — flame-flesh, alive and sensitive and suffering. His surfaces writhe away from the eye, as though shrinking, as though in pain. The lines flow intricately with something of that disquieting and, you feel, magical calligraphy, which characterizes certain Tibetan paintings. Look closely; feel your way into the picture, into the painter’s thoughts and intuitions and emotions. This man was naked and at the mercy of destiny. To be able to proclaim the spirit’s stoical independence, you must be able to raise your head above the flux of things; this man was sunk in it, overwhelmed. He could introduce no order into his world; it remained for him a mysterious chaos, fantastically marbled with patches, now of purest heaven, now of the most excruciating hell. A beautiful and terrifying world, is this Madonna’s verdict; a world like the incarnation, the material projection, of Ophelia’s madness. There are no certainties in it but suffering and occasional happiness. And as for salvation, who knows the way of salvation? There may perhaps be miracles, and there is always hope. The limits of criticism are very quickly reached. When he has said “in his own words” as much, or rather as little, as “own words” can say, the critic can only refer his readers to the original work of art: let them go and see for themselves. Those who overstep the limit are either rather stupid, vain people, who love their “own words” and imagine that they can say in them more than “own words” are able in the nature of things to express. Or else they are intelligent people who happen to be philosophers or literary artists and who find it convenient to make the criticism of other men’s work a jumping off place for their own creativity. What is true of painting is equally true of music. Music “says” things about the world, but in specifically musical terms. Any attempt to reproduce these musical statements “in our own words” is necessarily doomed to failure. We cannot isolate the truth contained in a piece of music; for it is a beauty-truth and inseparable from its partner. The best we can do is to indicate in the most general terms the nature of the musical beauty-truth under consideration and to refer curious truth-seekers to the original. Thus, the introduction to the Benedictus in the Missa Solemnis is a statement about the blessedness that is at the heart of things. But this is about as far as “own words” will take us. If we were to start describing in our “own words” exactly what Beethoven felt about this blessedness, how he conceived it, what he thought its nature to be, we should very soon find ourselves writing lyrical nonsense in the style of the analytical program makers. Only music, and only Beethoven’s music, and only this particular music of Beethoven, can tell us with any precision what Beethoven’s conception of the blessedness at the heart of things actually was. If we want to know, we must listen — on a still June night, by preference, with the breathing of the invisible sea for background to the music and the scent of lime trees drifting through the darkness, like some exquisite soft harmony apprehended by another sense.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rainy Days.

Rain today.
 It reminded me of Vietnam, when the rain turned the streets to rivers and the sound of water on the roof was deafening. It was the only time the streets were still, when the gray skies fell all the way into the city instead of hovering above the rooftops. The city was cleansed and for a moment the sky was blue. I loved the city most then.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Airy Nothing.

"The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
-A Midsummer Night's Dream

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not yet, please.

A few days ago it was June, right?
With every beautiful, blue, breezy day I ask summer to slow down, but it's almost over and I'm ordering textbooks and scrambling to see people before i leave.
This week was full of work, but the weather was beautiful and during my time off I did some wonderful summer-y things.

I picked raspberries with my mom at a little orchard down the road.
We only planned to pick a few, and ended up with eleven dollars worth.
It was so relaxing to be out in the sunshine in a raspberry patch with my mom, talking and laughing.
The orchard is set back from the road a ways and the store is a wooden barn surrounded by leafy shade trees and wildflowers.
Inside is cool and they sell homemade soaps and lotions alongside the fruit.
So peaceful.
I bought some lemon scented lotion. I want to eat my hands when I wear it.

And i picked a bouquet from my mother's flower gardens...

...And gathered tomatoes from the garden and ate them with salt and pepper, still warm from the summer sun.

And I got breakfast with a friend this morning at Clifton Mill.
The pancakes were bigger than my head and so delicious...banana walnut, yum.

Just a few days more before I have to leave...summer, don't end, please.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I know it's not fall, but it's ok.

(picture from 17 and Baking)

I know that pumpkin bread is technically out of season, but it's so good that I usually make it once during each season of the year, if not more. When I was seven and just learning how to measure flour in my mother's old cup measures and baking powder in steel teaspoons, my mother taught me how to bake pumpkin muffins. I loved the way the batter smelled, a mixture of spices and pumpkin all thick and deliciously creamy, and I loved the way the house smelled like thanksgiving while they baked.

This afternoon I was craving pumpkin and I stumbled upon this recipe from 17 and Baking and had to try it -- and you should, too, because it's wonderful.

Cream Cheese Rippled Pumpkin Bread

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour

Pumpkin Bread
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used 1 cup oil)
1 – 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9″x5″ pans.

For the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese just until smooth in a stand mixer or food processor. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour. Set aside.

For the Pumpkin Bread: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the sugar and melted butter, then stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract, and (optionally) nuts.

Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to overmix. A few streaks of flour are fine. Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it between the two pans. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into each pan, then top with the remaining half of batter. Smooth the tops and bake an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool loaves to room temperature.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Gold like Corn

I'm grinning from ear to ear (haha get it?), you know why?
It's Friday, the sun is out, and I just bought sweet corn from the market down the street.
And I'm about to whip up some of this parsley butter to put on it:

Lemon Parsley Butter
In a small mixing bowl, beat:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
with an electric mixer on low speed or stir until well combined.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour to 24 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend. Bring butter to room temperature before serving. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Also, I'm reading My Àntonia by Willa Cather, which is a wonderful book. More to come on corn and Cather later.

Have a sunshine and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


This morning I planned to go shopping for some jeans (always unpleasant and fruitless), but I couldn't make myself. We went to a used bookstore instead, and I bought three books and wanted to buy more.

Oh how I love summer, and summer reading lists!

Friday, July 1, 2011

its the simple things that keep me going.

Last Sunday I visited Augusta, Kentucky, across the Ohio River -- a relaxed little town where they serve ice-cream sundaes at the general store and men play checkers on the street corners.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Every summer my mom plants new flowers in the front flower beds and gently tends to the perennials so that throughout June, July, and August the front of our house blooms with color. I love all the flowers but especially the June Lilies, which burst into color the first month of summer in bright red, yellow, orange, and sometimes pink.

When my little brother was brought home from the hospital on June 21st, the lilies were in full bloom and my older brother and I sat on the front porch among the lilies waiting for our newest sibling to arrive. My brother as a baby is a vague memory now, but the lilies stand tall and clear in my mind against their strong green stems and the blue Ohio sky.

This morning the sun is out and I can see the lilies through my open window, and I'm thankful for their beauty and the summer sun.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A June Afternoon.

I'm reading Dandelion Wine for the umpteenth time since I got the book over Christmas break. If anyone knows what it's like to be truly alive it's this little kid, Douglas. If you haven't read this book go to the library as soon as it opens and get it or buy it, better yet. It's like a bit of summer in your hands.

"Dandelion wine.
The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer caught and stoppered. And now Douglas knew, he really knew he was alive, and moved turning through the world to touch and see it all, it was only right and proper that some of his new knowledge, some of this special vintage day would be sealed away for opening on a January day with snow falling fast and the sun unseen for weeks or months and perhaps some of the miracle by then forgotten and in need of renewal. Since this was going to be a summer of unguessed wonders, he wanted it all salvaged and labeled so that any time he wished, he might tiptoe down in this dank twilight of the cellar reach up his fingertips."

-Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Do you remember this quote from that fabulous story Alice In Wonderland:

"Have I gone mad?"
[Alice checks Hatter's temperature]
"I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are"

Well I need a little madness in my life, and so after I get home from work tonight, I'm going to make homemade Oreos with a friend and then we're going to go midnight swimming, sleep, and hope and pray our alarms wake us up for church.

I hope you all do something a little crazy this weekend to break up the monotony of the everyday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This morning I woke up to rain on my window. Again. Since I've come home to Ohio for the summer the sun has shone twice, maybe three times (at least in shone on my Birthday!). At first I liked it, giving me an excuse to curl up in bed and read for hours on end with a cup of tea. Or try new recipes: Carrot buttermilk muffins, lemon custard cake, banana oatmeal pancakes, or cornmeal cake with strawberries. But day 14 of rain is dreary, and makes for slow business at the ice-cream shop.

I don't work until 5 tonight, and I finished reading Huckleberry Finn for my online class so I have all afternoon to do as I please. I decided to bake cookies, checkerboard cookies. They have to chill for two hours in the refrigerator, so while they do that, I'm going to head to Beans and get some coffee and finish A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I'll post pictures of the cookies tonight after work if I'm awake enough to bake them.
Pictures of the cookies, as promised...I took some to my brother's piano recital this afternoon since they're black and white like piano keys.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May I Recommend...

...reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on a rainy May afternoon with a cup of cinnamon apple tea?

I enjoy my days off.

But Stevenson's book isn't a mindless read by any means, for Stevenson explores the depravity of mankind. He explores the evil side of man

"...all human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone, in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil."

Henry Jekyll says, "I was plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous . . . "

Evil can so easily consume without the Grace of Jesus. This book has given me a renewed appreciation for this grace, grace so freely given. Only in Jesus are we free from the bondage of sin and evil that threatens to snuff out the Henry Jekyll and succumb to Mr. Hyde. Literature does indeed delight and instruct, and for that I am grateful.

One more thing. Let me share a link that I have recently found. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have lately...


Oh, and P.S. I'm attempting to make soft pretzels tonight...wish me luck! (If they turn out I'll post pictures and all that jazz)

Friday, May 13, 2011

May Things.

1. Baking
I have an obsession with baking...and with cooking blogs, and cookbooks, and all things kitchen related...and i found this book on sale for $4! I'm excited to try making tarts!

Two of my besties came over last night and we watched movies and ate strawberries over freshly baked cornmeal cake (the recipes a keeper for sure)

Cornmeal Cake

1 ¼ cups cake flour
6 Tbs fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

½ cup milk, preferably whole
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 T lemon juice

Mix dry ingredients together.
Mix vanilla and milk together and set aside.
With electric beaters, cream butter, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, juice, and milk mixture together. Beat in dry ingredients.
Bake in a 9" round cake pan for 30-35min at 325 degrees F

Serve warm with fresh fruit of your choice (my favorite is strawberries)

P.S. this cake is delicious served warm with jam for breakfast :)

2. Growing Up
My best friend and I made a trip to the DMV to pick up my new license!
And two of my good friends moved into their own apartment on Monday.

3. Books
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spidery Handwriting.

This summer will be busy. Super duper.
I will be working at the ice-cream store, completing American Literature II online (which promises to be a fun class if i devote myself properly), and sifting through my Great Grandma's stories which will eventually become my Senior thesis.
Check out these hard to read pages...but it's been fun already.

Last night I discovered my Great Grandma had tea with a Danish prince.
The lady I remember with silver-white hair and a wrinkled face is proving herself to be an
exciting and classy woman.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Mom.

Here's to my Mother, and everything's she's done for me...
From teaching me how to thrift store shop
mailing me tea and honey at college
teaching me to bake
and always being there.
Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer Things

Junior year of college is completed, and I'm ready for summer.
Here's a little of what I plan to do when I go back to my little village of Cedarville, Ohio :)

1. Bicycle Rides

I love riding on the country roads around my house,
and shhhh but I love to find old graveyards and have picnics with the old folks.

2. Yellow Springs Farmers Market
What could be better than fresh jams and jellies, garden fresh veggies
and early morning outdoors...mmm i couldn't say.

3. Firefly lanterns
My brother's and my favorite pastime when we were growing up...
i plan to reawaken the firefly adventures this summer

Monday, May 2, 2011

Currently on my mind: summer smoothies and tunes. Hmm Hmm.


"California Sun"

Well I'm going out west where I belong
Where the days are short and the nights are long

And I'll walk a little walk I'll twist a little twist
I'll shimmy a little shimmy I'll fly a little fly
Yea we're out there having fun in the warm California sun

Well, I'm going out west out on the coast
Where the California girls are really the most

Where they walk and I'll walk They fish and I'll fish
They sin and I'll sin They fly and I'll fly
Where they're out there having fun in the warm California sun

Well, the girls are frisky in old 'Frisco
A pretty little chick wherever you go

And they walk and I'll walk They fish and I'll fish
They sin and I'll sin They fly and I'll fly
Where they're out there having fun in the warm California sun

We're out there having fun, yeah, in the warm California sun

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I love Little Women.
And on a rainy Saturday, I can't think of a better way to spend my time.
Well, of course baking is a wonderful option, too.
I couldn't decide which one to do, so I did both . . . and ignored Shakespeare (which I really shouldn't do -- he requires so much attention right now).
I made a triple layer carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for Easter Sunday. Can'twaittoeatityummm....

"Gotta Have You" The Weepies

Monday, April 18, 2011

Craving Adventure.

Downtown Seattle summer adventures.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More than Busy.

I am drained.

I realized this week how tired i am, emotionally, physically, mentally.
This semester has been hard in many ways. I'm taking 21 credit hours and I have to plan my life by the minute in order to get my homework completed and have time to work two jobs, see friends, eat, and sleep a little. Every time I turn in an assignment that is only half of what I wish it could be, I feel guilty, tired, sad. I try, but I fail so many times.

I desire to live life to the fullest, but does that mean stretching myself to the limit? Instead of writing a paper on literary criticism or Victor Hugo, I long to have conversations with the people that I care about. I long to serve like I did this summer in Vietnam, rather than thinking about myself, my time, my homework every day.

I have asked myself multiple times if school is worth it. What is the point? Then sometimes my professors pull a strand of light from the dusty words. Strands of truth about life and people, and God's grace. And I again devote myself to my classes.

God's grace is a beautiful thing.

Where would I be without his grace to withhold me when I feel as if I am going to fall into a heap on the ground. It is his grace that allows me to be human, to forgive myself for my faults and keep living for Him. It is his grace that allows me to believe in Him, in his love, his forgiveness, his power.

This semester I read through 1 and 2 Samuel, and I read of David and his struggles, which were far worse than my own. God was teaching him to trust and to obey. Perhaps this is the lesson I need to learn as well. Yet even with this knowledge I feel drained.
Hopkins (as usual) says it best:

WHEN will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows 5
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?
O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo, 10
He comes to brood and sit.

I long for peace.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I haven't had a breather until now (which is only going to be five minutes i think) but I wanted to get back to blogging.

Recently school and I have been spending way too much time together, and I'm planning for Junior Senior, which is also sucking up my time. But it's fun because I have to get crafty :)

Happy Wednesday! Summer is only a few months away!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


A thoughtful blog post about the earthquake in Japan from The Wednesday Chef...plus a yummy recipe:


Please be in prayer for the people in Japan.

You can help by buying these bookmarks from Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/listing/70132141/japanese-tsunami-and-earthquake-relief?ref=sr_gallery_3&ga_search_query=pray&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade)
All proceeds go towards Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Muffin Tins.

You want to know a secret?

I've always dreamed of opening a bakery and baking all day
Somewhere in a city, somewhere where it rains. Seattle? I love that city.

The girl in Stranger Than Fiction has my dream job. I wish I was gutsy enough maybe to do something like that someday.

I just read an article about Erin McKenna who opened her own bakery in New York City...a little harder than in my dreams :)

Oh, P.S. smittenkitchen.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rainy Afternoon and Muffins.

I know, I know, this week I've blogged alot. But i have time this week, and I just made some fabulous muffins thanks to The Wednesday Chef (which is an addicting site, be warned).


Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins, and they are wonderful!
It's raining today, and on rainy days I tend to bake and read. Today it was baking, but I'll probably read a little too :)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Clearly ambiguous.

I just finished reading a book. Not for school, not for class, just for me. I liked it even more than I liked the title when I chose it from the library shelf. I chose it partially because of the title and the name of the author: Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid. Isn't that lovely? She's the kind of author that writes so that I feel like the person in the book. I could have been Annie. I could have grown up with a mother like hers who believed in spirits and washed clothes by hand in the front yard sunshine.
The story was messy like life is, and wasn't tied up neatly at the end. I like that in books, because real life isn't a happy ending. It's hurt and pain and joy and laughter all mixed together.

Among other things, I made spaghetti sauce from scratch this afternoon. It's simmering on the stove and I'm about to go eat some and watch the sun set :)

Monday, March 7, 2011


The Caged Skylark
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

AS a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage
Man’s mounting spirit in his bone-house, mean house, dwells—
That bird beyond the remembering his free fells;
This in drudgery, day-labouring-out life’s age.

Though aloft on turf or perch or poor low stage,
Both sing sometímes the sweetest, sweetest spells,
Yet both droop deadly sómetimes in their cells
Or wring their barriers in bursts of fear or rage.

Not that the sweet-fowl, song-fowl, needs no rest—
Why, hear him, hear him babble and drop down to his nest,
But his own nest, wild nest, no prison.

Man’s spirit will be flesh-bound when found at best,
But uncumbered: meadow-down is not distressed
For a rainbow footing it nor he for his bónes rísen.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Far and wee.

i want this dress almost as much as i want spring (almost).

I drove home yesterday for spring break and left sunny Tennessee for rainy Ohio. weeee
I'm reading spring poetry to make up for the lack of sunshine.
If you haven't read Hopkins, then you are missing out:

NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Rain and Annie.

"Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies. It is the glimpse of oneself in a storefront window, the unbidden awareness of reactions on the faces of other people—the novelist’s world, not the poet’s. I’ve lived there. I remember what the city has to offer: human companionship, major-league baseball, and a clatter of quickening stimulus like a rush from strong drugs that leaves you drained. I remember how you bide your time in the city, and think, if you stop to think, 'next year…I’ll start living; next year…I’ll start my life.' Innocence is a better world."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black and White.

Black and White Wednesday
or 3-D glasses at the movie theater with Miranda.

These pictures happened over Christmas break, and I stumbled upon them on my camera this afternoon.
Made me smile :)

Here's to friends and ridiculous picture memories!

(This post inspired by http://teagannicholle.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Ok, so I may be more excited about this little guy than i should be,
but isn't he adorable?
I just bought him tonight and have been reading up on all things plants.
Let me tell you a little bit about him:
He's a Dracaena
He likes medium light
He's from Tropical Africa
He's easy to grow (according to the little plant tag, which i hope is right!)
and he's supposed to purify the air! (way cool!)

Oh, and P.S., I want to name him...any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Check out "Happiness Is . . ."

A lovely blog reminding us that love is all around :)


Also, a wonderful song i stumbled upon this afternoon:

"Stole My Heart"
by Little and Ashley

Monday, February 14, 2011


"They do not love that do not show their love.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
Love is a familiar. Love is a devil. There is no evil angel but Love."