Saturday, December 1, 2012

To Write or Not to Write, that is the Question.

Well, my dear Jim, I'm afraid I've come to a crossroad in my life, as usual.
To write or not to write.
I've asked this question many times and have answered it justly, before.
April has even answered it in this blog post. (A good read at that).
There is a good verse in the Bible that says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
There is also one that says the labor is worthy of his wages or reward.
Now, if there ever were a profession for me, I think writing would be it. I do love to be creative and I love to write, to make up stories. But I do often ask myself, "does this further Christ's kingdom?"
Where does writing fit in in the grand scheme of things?

As a job, I think there's nothing wrong with it. In any other job you're expected to work unto Christ, to carry out your tasks in a Godly manner, you can do the same as a writer, can you not?
As a writer, you can also make sure not to steer people wrong, to fill your writing with good morals and values. That's a noble goal, is it not?
That's how I view writing, or would like to view it if I can take myself seriously enough, as a job. And God has no problem with jobs, right?
I'm cautious, I suppose you could say. I don't want anything to take up too much of my focus. But, you see, anyone's job takes a certain amount of focus. Even making tents in the old days took focus.
So I guess I can justify writing as a means to support one's self. But the material of the book, now that's a trickier question..

Star Wars. It's such a lovely story of good verses evil. But it takes place in a universe where God doesn't exist. Just the "Force". Lots of Christians consider Star Wars and the Force to be evil. I like to consider it an allegory or the ultimate good vs evil. I've written Star Wars books (or, I should say, a very very long book of about 700 pages) since I was about 11 years old. There's something fascinating about the subject. Recently I started to write another one, I've got plenty to fill it with but I've come to a snag, you see, I have no problem with just jotting down these stories. But considering having them published, that's another thing entirely. Putting my name on a written word and sending it out to the world for all to read, you have to be very careful about that. As though you're putting your stamp of approval on it. And, of course, I'd have to approve of it if it was going to be published under my name.
My story, of course, would have the age old good verses evil, standing fast to good morals and even the Star Wars version of righteousness. And then redemption, too, finding forgiveness for past wrongs. Do you suppose there's anything wrong with that, Jimmy? I'm not sure, sometimes I find myself asking, as I've said, "how does this further Christ's kingdom?" When you consider Christ is coming, this world will be gone and all the work and literature, too.
But, as I also said before, having a job to earn a wage is honorable in God's eyes (as long as the job is not sinful). So you see the balance?
It's almost as though I feel like I can have a job as long as I don't consider it enjoyable, because once it's enjoyable it's no longer a job.
But, hey, people sell paintings, don't they? And I wouldn't mind selling some of my Star Wars paintings. But I'd just like to know, how does it all fit into the grand scheme of things?

Of course I've been using my writing "talents" by putting together a study on Speaking. It doesn't take too much of that talent, just the ability to look up Bible verses and having a willing heart to listen and obey. But calling writing Star Wars into question asks you to look to other means of enjoyment, watching Star Wars movies, having fun at all. It seems like whenever I think it through I decide to become a nun on a mountain. :p Ok, not quite.
So, these are some musings of mine. They all came about when my brother was talking about my book and how it was up there with the good ones that are published and said it was a great candidate for being published. (And Nick is quite the critic). What say you, Jim? Do you question things in your life such as this? Have you come to any conclusions?
The only thing I can go off of right now is James 4:17, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. And, also, that we should work unto the Lord and that everything we do should reflect Christ.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie

This is the best chicken pot pie I've ever eaten.
The recipe was requested so I decided I'd make it a whole blog post so that it would look like I'm not neglecting my blog entirely.

So. This pie is adapted from a Moravian Chicken Pie from Cook's Country.
The chicken pie is just chicken, no veggies, and it is SO delicious.
But I've adapted it a little to suit my tastes but my brothers always ask for vegetables so I sometimes adapt the already adapted recipe to accommodate them.
It is an extremely labor-intensive meal. But it is WELL worth it.


Ingredients:

For crust:

1/2 C sour cream
1 Large egg
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, chopped or sliced into pieces

For pie:

Salt, pepper
Olive oil
3 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Lemon thyme
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup half and half
2 large chicken breasts
1 large potato, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 handful of chopped carrots
and peas
1 egg


Make the crust ahead of time, it will have to refrigerate up to 1.30 hours and take a while to make.

The crust:
Start by putting flour and salt in the bowl to make crust dough. Cut in the butter. In a measuring cup, mix together sour cream and egg then add that to the flour, stirring to form a dough. If the dough is dry, you may need to add a little cold water, up to half a cup.

Separate dough in two and form into discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Take dough out of fridge and let warm to room temp. Form into a ball (I find it easier to make a round shape if I do) and roll out and put in the pie plate, and then roll out the top part and put on plastic. Put both pieces in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Take out and let get to room temp before filling.
(Now, if I'm in a hurry, I'll put them in the freezer and sometimes I don't even let them get to room temp, it doesn't seem to make much of a difference)


For filling:

Drizzle oil on bottom of a pot (like a dutch oven, something you can fry in but also boil in).
Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon thyme.
Fry chicken on all sides until golden brown.
Add broth, bay leaf and veggies (minus the peas) and simmer. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from pot to let cool then cut up into small pieces and put in a large bowl.
When veggies are mostly cool, strain the broth into a bowl and put veggies in bowl with chicken, add peas.
Put butter and flour in the pot to make a roux. Add 2 cups of the reserved broth and half and half. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
Take 1 cup of the gravy and pour it over chicken and vegetables, stir well. Pour mixture into pie.
Top the pie and fold the top layer UNDER the bottom layer then lightly crimp. Put a slight or two in the top then brush the crust with a beaten egg (just an egg, nothing else).

Finally, but in a 450° oven for 18-20 minutes. When time is up, let out some heat, and turn the oven the 375° 10-15 minutes. Finally, take the pie out and let cool, they say for 45 minutes but I eat it pretty much right away. The only thing is, if you let it cool it will set and the filling will not fall out all over the place.

To serve, heat the leftover gravy with the remaining broth and pour over servings of pie.
Sometimes I don't have enough brother leftover so I add a little extra canned broth, it's just fine.

ENJOY!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Demand Excellence

My dear friends,
I have to talk about one of the most controversial topics of this year: The 2012 Presidential Election.
Pray, friends, do not run from this post screaming and shouting. Give me a few minutes of your time and I'll strive to deserve them.
This is not a rant (or, at least I will try to keep it that way) and it is not to endorse Ron Paul (though it should be said beforehand that I do), it is a desperate plea to all Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, white, black, tan, Christian, atheist, gay, straight, smart and not-so-bright Americans.
A plea to better-think this election and wake up to what is going on.

All this year I have seen just about every argument over Facebook regarding this election.
Most of the arguments were Republican-based, crying for anyone BUT Obama.
Others were saying, "choose the lesser of two evils."
Some said, "vote with your conscience. Not for evil."
Some Democrats, though I know very few, do not even like Obama, but are probably going to vote for him in order to keep Romney out of office. (You can't blame them, that's what Republicans are doing with Romney).
Many, many times I've seen, "there are only two choices."
Since when? Why are we allowing this? Nobody likes the two candidates. But no one is doing anything about it. We just threw up (or regurgitated) the "likeliest" Republican candidate for one reason and one reason only, he had the "best chance" at "beating" Obama.
This election is not a game, does anyone understand that? We are choosing a person to run our country. To make decisions for our country. To protect us.
This is NOT a decision to be taken lightly.
Our president is given a lot of power (though, more than he should, I admit), he's put up in a nice house, given money, vacation time if he wishes it. We provide for him a team of special servicemen that will go to lengths at protecting him. It's a big to-do. Shouldn't the next President of the United States be somebody worthy? Shouldn't they earn it? What has Obama or Romney done, what task have they committed that recommends them as the best, most exceptional person to run our country?
We shouldn't only have two choices, we should have many! We should go through all willing and able peoples in the United States and find the absolute BEST man (or woman) for the job! Not some random already politicians that seem to fit the bill. The BEST. How is it in American Idol or America's Got Talent everyone has to work their rears off to get to the top with what recommends them but when it comes to the next President, we just throw our support to whoever seems to line up with our issues the best? Why not vote for THE best? Why are we settling on mediocrity?

People, we do not have to be so divided. I realize there are some insane differences between the left and the right. But there is a nice thing called compromise.
But I'll tell you what we should never compromise on:
Freedom.
Why are we ok with the government regulating everything? Taking away some peoples' rights and giving them away to others?
I'm a strong believer in Jesus Christ, most of you know this, but I'm not going to force everyone to believe in Him. I'd like to have the freedom to preach and say what I wish. That's what makes America great, we have freedom! You can say what you wish, and we can say what we wish. As simple as that.
Stop letting government meddle in our lives. WE, the PEOPLE, are responsible for setting up the government. The government is there for us. WE, the PEOPLE, are in charge. Don't like the candidates for this election? Let's do something! Let's demand they change it. Let's demand excellence from our government. Let's elect someone we actually WANT to run our country. Not someone that will beat the next person or simply looks presidential, or because he's black or Mormon.
We have to put our proverbial foot down and say enough is enough.
We don't have to go by their rules, we make the rules! Read the following with the utmost concentration:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

We have this power and we have this right! We are not cattle to be pushed and prodded around, told what to do, tossed in cages if we don't obey their laws that we didn't even agree to. We set up the government, we set up the rules, the laws, by voting, democratically, on what should be and shouldn't be illegal. Democracy is not a dirty word: Democracy allows people to participate equally—either directly or through elected representatives—in the proposal, development, and creation of laws.
And a Republic is not a bad thing: A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" (Latin: res publica), not the private concern or property of the rulers, and where offices of states are subsequently directly or indirectly elected or appointed rather than inherited.
Laws are not bad, they are meant to keep us safe. But when laws are grossly perverted they need to go, just as the corrupt politicians need to go. This stereotype that all politicians are liars has got to be righted. Fire the liars, hire honest, good men. There are still good men in this country. You just have to look hard to find them! Why do we put up with liars? Why are we letting them lie to us?
We were once one of the greatest countries in the world and now we're the joke, the laughing stock. Nobody likes America, we're viewed as idiots.
It's time to take a stand. Be the America our presidents of old would be proud of, the America our beloved soldiers have died--given their lives and blood--for. Be the America we can be proud of.
Many people have said our votes don't even matter. Make them matter, demand that they matter, because they do.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Horsh Radish Shaush

Well, I went for a fun run called the Color Vibe.
You run three miles and get pasted with powdery paint. At the end of it.. there are volunteers walking around with BUCKETS full of this paint. Everyone is grabbing handfuls and throwing them everywhere. It's like Tomatina but more colorful and not as juicy.
It. was. a. blast!

So, the day before I had to go, like, an hour way, way up in this crazy town, to get my bib and these awesome glasses. I went with my brother's GF, Jacque.
We had a hilarious time.
There was a street called Wellesley. I thought it was Wellsley, it makes more sense than Wellesley.
Then, from that, I created a new word. Well, the word, wellesley, was already created. But I created a new meaning for a word.

Wellesley: Adv. A sentence of correction, or contradiction, that begins with the word 'well'.
i.e. "Well, actually...Tom's middle name is James.",  "Well, honestly, I prefer spaghetti to brussel sprouts" (Who doesn't?)
Also see: Wellest, welles.

Haha, so it needs work. But we were cracking up the entire time.
Then we went to get Chinese food and there was mustard there.. and I tasted it, and it was disgusting. It was like.. horseradish sauce and that blue glue you put on pvc piping. It was gross. But then, Jacque said Horseradish saush. And that started a whole new joke on Horsh Radish Shaush and how I imagined Miss Fieldmouse from Thumbelina saying it. And then that sparked a conversation about Horseradish sauce, and perhaps it's really a radish sauce for horses to dip radishes in. And then, even better, maybe it's a sauce for radishes to dip their horses in! O_o it.. was a crazy night.
Then we went on that run and it was the best fun ever. I look forward to that run every year now.

But. The importance of this blog is not over wellesness, or horseradish sauce, but of cinnamon rolls.
I made some the other day. And, well, I'm not a very good cinnamon roll baker.. so I was afraid to try again. But I was pleased when they came out perfect. How perfect? I took pictures.

Before they were finished (I think..)


But the real challenge was making the perfect icing.
Everyone in the world has their own version of icing that involves some kind of mixture of powder sugar with milk, butter, cream cheese and or vanilla. I hate them all. All of them, ya hear?? I despise them!!!
I was on a quest to find a delicious cinnamon roll icing that tasted similar to Pillsbury. Which is nearly impossible because they probably chock theirs full of nasty artificial flavors and such.
But I wasn't going to give up.
And I'm glad I didn't.
Because I succeeded.
What? You think I'm going to share it with you? PAH!!!
Ok, I will. But, you'll hate me for this, I didn't measure a darn thing.
It's powder sugar, butter, CREAM (NOT MILK, I'll slap you fool!), salt, a tiny bit (sadly) of vanilla and GAAASP, lemon. The lemon made this. You couldn't tell it was lemon. You could only tell that it was perfect.
Observe.

Perfect consistency...

So good..

HEAVEN!!!!

Just .. look at it .. (The hole in the center one was from my testing it, lol)

Makes 18 rolls.

They were gone by the end of the day.
These rolls got a "MMM." out of Jeffrey and then *GASP* a "this is good!"
I was beside myself. The approval of Jeff is up there with the judges from Chopped.
The rolls were actually made from my Aunt Clarice's basic bread recipe, so anyone that wants the recipe--TOO BAD! It's a family recipe and it STAYS in the family *fends people off, ravenously*.
But the icing, dude, the icing is where it's at.
Anyway, tata.

Friday, August 24, 2012

How does a person go to walmart...

And buy only one thing??
That was what the cashier asked me when I was checking out today.
It was that or, "what kind of a person". Either way, my response was, "Lot's of self-control." Or was it discipline? Either way, same dif.
There are lots of things I'd like to buy, but I just don't see the NEED. And if there's a need (like a new lamp I'm thinking about buying), I go away, think about it for days, weeks and even months, and then finally purchase it.
I have a strict spending budget, you see, buy only what I need and then put everything else in savings to prevent me from buying more. If I want something extra, I've gotta SAVE UP FOR IT.
Okay, so I didn't NEED that box of Annie's macaroni.. (ON SALE), or those two Steaz Teaz.. (ON SALE, and one was for my bro, charity cases are excused, right?). But I did need the other stuff I bought (at the grocery store). And I don't always abide by these rules, mind you. They're more like.. GUIDELINES. Then I went to Walmart, because I'm one of those people that likes to just walk around Walmart and let her mind wander. Take your time, peruse the aisles... and then buy a 10 dollar tube of natural face wash.
You read me.
Say Yes to Blueberries. You might remember a blog post on April 13th (to be exact) where I bought dental floss and Say Yes to Carrots. Well, that face wash is not only super fantastic, but it's lasted me up until now. There's still a few more washes in it, yet! But I like to replace things before they run out.
The Blueberries is a little more expensive and for less! But it's spercial. It's gawt Blueberries (no duh) to fight free radicals, coconut oil to moisturize, apple to refresh and brighten and lemon peel to clean. I know, I'm strange, because I'm excited about a paraben-free natural (95%) facial wash. Oh well!
They also have moisturizers, which I've ignored until now. I'll have to pick some up next time!

Picture snatched off some ulta beauty website


So I tried this neat little curling trick, you take a stretchy headband and put it on over your hair and then twist your hair all around it and sleep with it in. In the morning you take it out and your hair is curly!
Well, my hair's already curly-ish.. but I'm obsessed with doing this, mostly because it's so simple. And then I get to walk around with curls in my hair all day long. Win-win!

Speaking of Facebook. Oh, no, we weren't. But we are now. Facebook is ruining the world. And, while it's a great way to meet new people and keep in touch with people, I think it's completely destroying us.
For instance. There's this picture that flies around facebook with two rolls of toilet paper on it, depicting the right way and wrong way to hang toilet paper.
Not that I care all that much on peoples' preferences, but now, when I meet someone, I can't just ask, "how do you hang your toilet paper? Over? Or under?" No, instead it's, "oh, yeah, that toilet paper thing on-" "yeah, facebook." "yeah, haha."
There's no personally getting to know anyone. It's getting to know people en masse. Learning about the whole world instead of personally. "*Like* if you remember this." "*Like* if you've ever done that." EVERYone (or almost) relates to it. Who knew we all did the same things? But, now, it takes all the surprise out of finding that out about individual people.
Say goodbye to conversations like, "I used to play that the floor was lava and you had to jump from couch to couch!" "What?? No way, so did I!"
Because now all you have to do is, "*Like*" and, somewhere in someone's brain they think, "oh, hey, that person did that once."
-_-

So, anyway, have ya'll heard of Kutless? I don't normally like all their music, but April's brother, Alex, got me their worship CD. And I love it. It's such a great CD. I like almost all of their songs.
One of my favorite songs is, "Give Us Clean Hands" and they do a great rendition. It's a little rock n rollish, but I appreciate it.
AUGH! I just bit my tongue. asdsdsdsjgk.
Crisis over.
Anyway, other songs of theirs that I appreciate are:
Amazed
What Faith Can Do
Everything I Need
You Save Me
Redeemer (Great version, Keith Green's still rocks though)
I'm Still Yours.
And, one of my absolute favorites, so favorite, in fact, that I'm putting up a video:

Taken by Love.



One of the best. Ah, I love it. Thanks, Alex, for buying it for me.
Ha, I remember when he did, too. It was, like, three years ago. I forgot to put it on my wishlist for my birthday and I was so disappointed that I did. But, what a guy, he bought it for me and it was a complete surprise! I was so happy. It's one of my favorite CD's.

So, I'm working on a study. Normally I just write motivational little studies and put them up here, but this thing is an actual study with an outline.. and Bible verses that you actually have to LOOK UP. o_O
I do FaithTech studies, and this study is formatted like a FaithTech study. I've never really done something like this before, but I was all excited because it looks all serious and stuff.
Now to actually STUDY. Ha. You wouldn't believe how difficult it has been for me to organize myself enough to start the study. I'm way better at listening to people teach than teaching it myself. But I need to study to show myself approved and not let everyone else do it for me! Are YOU studying to show yourselves approved? It's an important part in your walk. You fill your mind up with God's word so that you can easily fight off Satan's attacks. Anytime you're tempted you can respond with, "it is written." Just as Jesus Christ did when He was tempted, and did you ever see Him sin? NO. Because He didn't give INTO the temptation. That's what it's all about, Jesus freeing us from sin so that we don't ever have to give into temptation again! It doesn't make us invincible to temptation or even sinning, we'll always have a choice and sometimes we might mess up and sin. But you don't have to be a slave to sin any longer! Isn't that wonderful?
Of course, this isn't what my study is about, but it's still a good thing to remind you guys of.
My study is on words, as I think I've said a few times before.
After I'm finished with it I think I'll make a summery and post it on here so that ya'll can read it right quick. I'll put up the outlines, too. But something tells me it will be a while. As I want to to be just right! And gathering such things can take a while.

So--I say so a lot at the beginning of paragraphs, don't I? Who noticed that besides me? Or did no one notice? Either way, by now I've posted pictures of my two different painting areas. The outside one and the inside one.
The outside works when it's warm but not too hot, and not freezing. The indoors one works only when I'm desperate. My brilliant parents created that space for me and I appreciate it! But it's become cramped. Back outside, folks! I need to get back into painting, I truly do. I appreciate art so much and, really, I think I'm an artist under the guise of a writer. I don't dedicate much time to art, but in the depths of my soul I long to. I just lack the motivation. You know what I did to find that word? It was on the tip of my brain but I just couldn't think of it, so I googled, "I lack the" and there it was. Bahahaha. And here I am complaining about technology. Oh but I'm so terrible at thinking of the words I'm thinking. You should hear me talking to BFF, I'm always like, "what's that word?" And she's like "this?" And I'm like "YEAAH!" Such a great pair.
Anyways, woe is to me. Well, not really, the sun is shining and Jesus saves, so no woe! Woe to those who take evil for good and good for evil. That's Biblical right there.

You know, I've noticed that my first letters are only the second largest. I used to do them the largest. Have you noticed? I downsized. It's the economy. But perhaps I'll make them larger again.
Anyway, right now my project is to not be lethargic. I've been quite, lately, and it's got to stop. So I've been working out a lot and *TRYING* to get into writing. I write tid-bits here and there, so that's good. I have so many ideas it shouldn't be that hard. But it is. I let the worries of, "will anyone ever publish this?" stunt my creativity. I oughtta stop that right now and just go write whatever the heck I want!
Well, anyways, that's all for now, folks.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Indecency of it All!

I went to the lake today.
It was nice.
Okay, there's nothing indecent about that, and I know you saw the title of this blog and thought, "oh, interesting! What's indecent?"
So I guess I won't disappoint and talk about it!

At the lake there were people and, of course, these people were there to swim. Which involves swimwear. Catch my drift?
No, I was actually pleasantly surprised. A lot of the bathing suits (in fact most of them) were pretty decent! I was amazed. Mostly shorts and tank tops. I wanted to congratulate those ladies. Good job! If you've seen me swimming, you'd know I look like a nun. I wear bermuda shorts and a running shirt over a swimming suit. I can explain, normally I wear board shorts but I don't fit into my old ones so I just stick with my extra long running shorts :p. And then I normally wear a tank top, but I've been wearing shirts with sleeves because I like to cover my shoulders from the sun (been burned there too many times as a child, yeouch). I'm not one of those people who are like, "you MUST cover every single part of your body!" I wear jeans (not skirts) but I like being modest. In my point of view, if most of the upper thigh is covered and no cleavage is showing, you're good to go. You want to cover up but I'm not going to wear long pants and long sleeved shirts in 95 degree weather :)

Oh, but the men, on the other hand, they were all mostly shirtless. I don't want to see a guy's chest. Cover it up, please!
Women catch flack for causing men to stumble. But they never seem to think the other way around? It'd be better if everyone just covered up so then there would be no distractions.
And everybody needs to get control of themselves! That doesn't give us all excuses to be indecent, no, no. I'd be decent anyway. I don't want people to see my body. That's private! Ladies AND gentlemen, cover yourselves up, have some dignity, for crying out loud. Some bathing suits cover less than your underwear. Underwear is something you shouldn't walk around in public in. Think about it guyyys.

But the bottom line, I was very proud of those ladies at the lake who wore mostly decent swimwear. Bravo to you, ladies! And, well, a least the guys weren't wearing speedos, that would have been extremely distracting, talk about a Luke-face moment right there. Pss, Loud audio, turn down the speaks.



Everyone, especially you young ladies; You should not be embarrassed of covering too much! Don't give into the pressure of this world to show more of your skin. Hold your heads high and dress appropriately!! :)





Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TECHNICALLY

I did something tonight that I haven't done in a long time..
I measured the vanilla when I was making cookies.
I did, I really did.
And then proceeded to dump a little extra in. Well, it was a short-lived progress. But progress nonetheless! By now you've guessed it, I hardly ever measure the vanilla.
There's only one explanation, really, that being that I love vanilla. Everything should be vanilla flavored. Okay, not really. I appreciate vanilla in cooking, but I do not appreciate it anywhere else. Body washes, soaps, lotions, candles. No thanks. I don't enjoy sugary, sweet smells. I enjoy the tastes, not the smells. Candles, soaps and lotions should be floral and/or fresh. You shouldn't feel like you're bathing in 800 calories of sugar and fat. Well, that's just my opinion.

Two songs I keep listening to:
No One Would Listen

This song is so sweet. If you've not seen Phantom of the Opera, well, I don't feel like explaining. But most of the movie you're like, "man, that guy's kind of evil." But you can't help but feel sorry for the poor guy. This song isn't in the movie, it got cut, but I think it best conveys just how he feels, and really bridges that gap between the viewer and his little wittle heart.
And, might I say, Gerard Butler does a smashing job as the Phantom. I enjoy the music in that movie a lot, but upon my recent revisiting of this wonderful movie, I realized just how seductive and sensual it is. *Single eyebrow raise* But that's the magic of tv! You don't HAVE to watch ANYthing! :D

Then, there's this wonderful song:
Ride to Death

If you haven't seen the new True Grit yet, go watch it. At least once.
Jeff Bridges is one of my favorite actors. He plays in Surf's Up, and that's one of my favorite movies. Anyway, he does a swell job and so does that girl. The best part is the ending (hey, don't read if you don't want to spoil the end!!) when she falls down a chasm and he saves her after she gets snakebit. Best part, so gripping, so moving. And this music plays at that part. And it's just.. so dramatic and spectacular. It holds your heart and pulls you along for the ride and you--aaah, I can't even describe it well enough. And I expect to be a writer? Well, back to studying the SAURUS for me. <<- see what I did there? Thesaurus? Get it? GET IT?

So, between those two songs and just finishing Catching Fire and Mockingjay (rereading them anyway), I've been swarmed with brilliance. Again, the writer of the Hunger Games series has a rare gift of putting together words, plot and emotions and capturing your attention with it and not letting go until the end. That is the sort of writing I aspire to.
Sadly, it's the type of writing that does not come naturally to me. I'm not a dramatic, gripping-type writer (at least I don't think). I'm more of a humorist, at heart. And fantastical at my greatest. I'm a story-teller, a narrator. I like to make things fun, pretend as though I'm talking to a good group of friends, entertaining them. Definitely not what you find in war-hardened romances such as the Hunger Games series. Oh well, I shall aspire to be the best Andrea writer and that shall be good enough for me!

I was watching Ice Cream: Unwrapped on the cooking channel (Cooking Channel, not Food Network), and I find myself, once again, wanting to get a job at an ice cream shop. It's really probably not as glamorous as I imagine. But there's something fun about serving ice cream. At least I think so. And if I had to work with any sort of food, ice cream would be my choice.
Or, if you want to be technical, frozen dairy products, as FroYo isn't ice cream, TECHNICALLY.

Anyway, I think that'll be all for tonight. You're lucky, I was just going to go to bed, but then I wanted to tell you all about the vanilla that I had to sit down and write this little tidbit. I wanna know, does anyone else ever notice that I *usually* color the first letter/word of my paragraph? HMM?? I do it, alll the time. Do you notice, do you? If not, then I give up!! I do all these nice things, hoping to make you notice me and give me a little credit for once, and what do I get? You ingrates. Okay, sorry, sorry! No, baby don't be like that! Baby!!
Sorry, moment of midnight insanity right there. Anyways, you know I love you guys! Until later, ciao! (which means GOODBYE in Italian.)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Here you are, precious! I got a GOOD picture.

 Now you know.
I've used it for numerous dishes now, and I couldn't be happier.
I'm going to go back and make another one, probably green. It'll say something equally smart like, Fantastically Tasty. Any ideas?
It may look a little like this:
But not so yellow. That's a plate I made for my bff. Isn't it snug? Yes. I know you're jealous.
So the plan for today is, clean the kitchen, go to work, come back and WRITE.
Speaking of work, I was thinking of getting a job a Jamms. It's a frozen yogurt place that I love! (Better than Top This <_< ). Just a consideration I'll be praying about. I started reading in Ephesians, too. I haven't read it in a while so I'm rediscovering all this little goodies.
Now, for a moment to be honest with you: This is how my bed looks when I roll out of it in the morning..

 I know.. I guess I might toss and turn a little.. Just a little?
Anyway, I thought it was so funny that my covers were so completely mangled, that I snapped a picture of it. I know, it may be weird to you, but I think it's hilarious. Probably something only ten or eight people in the world might find humorous. Let me know if you're one of them, I'd like to shake your hand.

Ending on a happy note: Have I told you, lately, that I love my room? Look at this..

 Sparkles.. Everywhere!! <3
Just.. just, there aren't words for how beautiful it is.  Sigh. Farewell.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I did something naughty yesterday. A lot of somethings. I will name them for you.

  • I spent money.
  • I spent money on frozen yogurt.
  • I ate at Wendy's.
  • Not only did I eat at Wendy's, but I drank Dr. Pepper, too.
  • And I ate all the french fries..
  • I baked, and ate, cookies.
Now that we've got that out of the way. How are you?
Oh, I'm alright. I just rearranged my furniture for the bazillionth time.
But you don't want to hear about that, you want to hear about my adventure in town!
Well, I started out going into toown. Town, town, not that town that's just 4 minutes away, but that one over THERE. Ok, it's only 20 minutes away, but it's away!
I went into town to pick up pottery that I painted with my mother last Saturday. I'd post pictures, only my camera is way over there.. and I'm chilaxing in my green chair. No can do, Commander.
So, since I was in TOWN, I figured I might as well go to Fred Meyer! Such a neat store with desks and stuff. Oh, and food, and clothes, too. Well, it's like Walmart or Target but cooler. And I bought my purse there, so I wanted to shop for a new purse.
Ok, so my phone rang and I got up anyway.. but that's because it was my mom. And I don't care how comfortable or lazy you are, if your mama's calling, you answer! Which resulted in my making chili dip (chili + desired amount of cream cheese = chili dip), eating it, bartering with Jeff about taking my car as long as he brings me back tea, sitting at the piano and playing a short (short) tune and then grabbing my music books so I could recatalog them. Only to return to my room with three volumes of sheet music and remember that I abandoned you. Sadly, this is a typical Andrea thing to do.

ANYWAY, after retrieving the pottery, I got some froyo (Rachelle hates that term) because it was lunch time and I figured I should have a snack before shopping, otherwise I get cranky and tired and just go home.  But froyo wasn't enough. Impulsively, I turn into a Wendy's drive-thru and before I can rethink this terrible act, I not only ordered a chicken sandwich--but fries and GASPGASPGASP, a soda.
Let's examine this, shall we?
Chicken sandwich: Not such a terrible choice, chicken, sure, from Wendy's, a little better.
Add fries: Greasy, fried sticks of fat and starch. That's... ok, it was just a small!
But then, the greatest wrong of them all.. did I order lemonade? No. Or even a frosty? No. I order.. Dr. Pepper.
I shall take this moment to say, I don't drink soda. Sure, once in a long while. For instance, I had some at a friend's bday party in May and then on the way home from Rachelle's house I had a few sips of Nick's Mr. Pibb (or was it Dr. Pepper? IDK, my bff, Jill?)
Soda's simply not meant to be consumed by humans. And then, fast food! I never eat fast food--well, not never, but I do avoid it.
Either way, it was all just a bunch of tomfoolery and I shant be drinking soda for a while now! Or eating fast food for that matter.

So, after doing that evil, I went to find Fred Meyer, only I'm sure they moved it somewhere else, because I couldn't find it. I should take this time to note that I never remember exactly where Fred Meyer is. In this case, I went the back way to Wendy's and passed it, got on the highway, went further up, didn't see it, went to Walmart (more on that later) then turned around and went home, only I took a shortcut home which went around where Fred Meyer is so I ended up avoiding it in my grand scheme of stupidity. But let's talk about Walmart. This Walmart I almost never go to because it's so farrr awaaay. So I go there looking for shampoo, conditioner, fish oil and eye drops.
I end up buying shampoo and conditioner and then leaving in a cold sweat to get out of there because I can't find anything in that place!
There is another Walmart on my way home, which I know like the back of my hand. Ahhh. So I finish my shopping there and return home where my new wireless keyboard and mouse set are waiting for me.
But I need batteries and my family is known for not having batteries. So I go back to Walmart. But to the other one that's closer to home. This one I know almost as well as the other. The reason being, it's newer so I haven't been going as long. It took me a full rotation around the store to finally find the batteries. It should be noted that I was carrying around a package of toilet paper while looking incredibly lost.
Note to all: Batteries are usually in a big huge thing in the main aisle up front where the checkout lanes are. D'oh!
I also looked at some sterling silver earrings and promised myself I would buy some someday.
I rented Mirror Mirror, which is a hilarious movie, and watched it with my family.
So now you know where I was yesterday.. bumbling around town trying to find Fred Meyer and batteries. Sigh, what am I going to do with myself?


Oh, and here's a picture of the bowl I painted. Don't flatter yourself, I just stole it off of my facebook.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Limits

We should get jerseys, cuz we make a good team. But yours would be better than mine, cuz I'm out of your league.
This song is stuck in my head. I don't know why, though, because I just watched a video clip of me and April being nerds to the music of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly..
Anyway, what's up?
Nothing's up here, thanks for asking.
Ok, some things, I've been writing like a good girl, I have. And I've been slowly copying down verses into a document for my bible study I'm doing. There were about 165 verses in Proverbs.. and then I get to sort through them! Yay! But, no, this is a nice study, and I want to do it. It's just hard for me to focus on one project for long periods of time. I write a little, I study a little, I play games, I paint a little, then I come back to the computer.

So, I was thinking, my brothers never think I'm very funny so I always imagine I'm not funny at all (see what they do to me??). But one of my friends told me my face expressions when talking are hilarious. It's very dear to me to know that I can make someone laugh with my face..
I've also been complemented on how I argue. Which I've never heard of before. But I was arguing with Nick (I might have mentioned this in a previous blog) and our uncle's friend said she had to complement our way of arguing because we were being so polite and not throwing fists everywhere.
That gave me cause to feel a little dignified.
Oh yes, I got on here for a reason. I was going to talk about guys. I was just thinking how ironic it is that April and I have always wondered where all the good guys are. (Come on, where are they??). In a world that's so dark and evil, full of losers and such, it's like there's no hope! Only to find out, there are good guys out there, and they're wondering, "where are all the good girls?"
Just hilarious! Ok, not that funny.
In all honesty, I know there are lots of good, godly men out there, just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist. April and I reminded ourselves of this particular part in the Bible:
"Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal." Romans 11:3,4
Elijah thought he was the last, but God knew better. That's why it's always best to trust in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding, what we see with our physical eyes.
Not that I want you all to think I'm sitting around, brooding about the lack of guys. It was just the irony that I wanted to talk about. April wrote an article in which she made this point and it's been on my mind.

Also, another thing I was thinking. Everyone has their limit. Until they're stretched past it. And then they realize they're stronger than any limitations.
For instance, say you think you could never, ever, eat a live bug. You say, "I can squash them, I can live with them, but I will never eat them." That's your limit. But then, the time comes where you have to eat a live bug, and you do it. Why? Well either you have no choice, or you overcome your fears, one or the other.
I'm realizing that, with God, all things are possible and even though I say, "oh, I could never do that." I realize that God can work with a person and get them through things they thought they could never do.
Of course, you should know me well enough by now to know I'm talking about anything but sin. Of course when I say, "I will never do that sinful thing." I intend to keep that promise. No, no, I'm talking about non sinful things that we're too wimpy, chicken or stubborn to do. No, I'm not talking about thrill-seeking, dangerous, bone-headed acts like sky-diving. Though, I never would sky-dive, but if I had to jump out of a plane with a parachute, I know I would if my life or someone else's life depended on it. And that's what I mean! You think you have these limits, but then when you're tested you see what you're really made of and that you're far stronger than you even imagined! I like to give God that glory, because without Him, I'd probably have been stretched to my limit while taking care of Grandma. And I know mothers all over the world are stretched to their limits. And then past them. And you come out stronger than before, with more confidence, realizing you can do anything!
My grandma was a biiig limit-stretcher. And I'll always be thankful to God for all the lessons He taught me through taking care of her.
Just when you think you've had enough, an unfound strength soars to the rescue and you stand up and take it.
Sure, not everyone does this. Some people crackle and fall and give up. Don't be that person. Be the awesome one that fights past your limitations and becomes all the better because of it!

Anyway, I'm going to go run. Peace out, Jimmy!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

So, Trolly People, what have you been up to lately?
I realize I've been away and then, suddenly, I started just posting tons of blogs. Good for me!
Well, I decided to give you a personal update, rather than preach at you all the time to listen to people and be nice.
I got a new computer! Most of the Facebook friends know this, but let's say that there are people--ok, maybe one person-- out there that is not from Facebook. You must know that I bought a new computer!
This means I'm supposed to be responsible and write more.
. . . .
Ok, ok, I've been writing a little. But April --gasp, yes that's BFF's name-- has been working on her own book as of late. Our book has been left, abandoned, sitting in the corner gathering dust.. T.T
This has left me to my own projects.
. . . .
Ok, they're not that bad. But it was hilarious, for a while I was working on this one book and it was going great. It was a Christian book about a guy on the streets that turns his life around and so on. So, just to do my own homework for once, I look up different publishing houses to see which ones accept letters of inquiry and which ones are super strict on having a literary agent (I really would prefer not having to get an agent..) Much to my surprise--though I should have known better-- I found this list from Barbour Books (one of the bigger ones that accept non-agent Authors).
After explaining that the books should express a conservative evangelical Christian view, and explaining a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ is important for their Authors to have.. They list this:
THINGS TO AVOID:  Avoid such
controversial topics as the following:
1.  Spirit baptism (and time of, at
     conversion vs. Second experience of            
     grace)
2.  Water baptism (meaning of and time of,
children or adults)
3.  Gifts of the Spirit (e.g., are tongues    
  still around?)
4.  End times (setting dates)
5.  Lord’s Supper (ordinance vs.
 Sacrament)
6.  Women’s ordination
7.  Christian perfection
8.  Transferring qualities of Jesus—or                
 passages in the Bible that refer to
 Jesus—to heroes in books.  This
 also applies to Mary, Jesus’
 earthly mother.
Avoid strictly any language that could be
considered foul and use of mention of alcohol
or drugs.  Euphemisms such as heck, darn, and
so on should not be used. To many of our
readers these words are substitutes for curses.
. . . . . . .


So what on Earth am I supposed to write about now?? A Christian Publisher that doesn't want you to write about Christ, apparently! Oh- oh! Then they go ahead and say that a particular Biblical message should be threaded throughout your book. What message is there left to give??
Number 7 really got me--Christ coming and dying on the cross to destroy the bonds of sin is what the Bible's all about--He defeated sin and death! These people published a book of Cathy Marie Hake's in which a young woman is raped (of course they don't show that happening, but you figure it out.) but they won't publish anything that has truth in it? They obviously would rather have a wordly book with "God" thrown in than a good book with morals and truth! The foul language I could avoid. But the alcohol is laughable! How am I supposed to have a drunken bum crawl up from the ashes without mentioning he loved alcohol? There goes his witness! Christ saved him from the bottom rung but he can't talk about it because it would involve mentioning alcohol!
These guidelines very much reflect Christianity these days, fluffy and soft, not wanting to offend anyone--ever. I should remind you that Christ offended the Pharisees often.. and then they killed him.
Ugh. So, regardless, I'll just have to appeal to a worldly publisher to publish my book. Which is sad, isn't it? That my book full of Christian truths has a better chance of being published by a secular publishing house than a so-called Christian one?

Anyway, so I started on my fairytale book that I wrote a while ago for my youngest brother. I stopped writing it because I realized the name I used for the land was actually made up by J R R Tolkien. Classic, Andrea.
But I got over that and made up a new name.. and then found out it is associated with Chinese foot binding....
Ok, so forget the name! Just write! And that's what I'm doing right now. Or, attempting to do..
Which is where you come in! Instead of writing, like I should, I write blogs! Hey, at least it's literary.
I'm also going to be doing some studying, too, and I'll post those for your reading pleasure.
I also traveled West to visit my sister and her family. It was good to see the kiddos but I was glad to be back home, where I belong. I could tell you, I will be quite happy living in this area for the rest of my life. Unless, surely, there's a better place, but I haven't found one yet. Nor do I expect to.
Also, last month, I bought myself a neat little wing-backed chair. It's green and it sits yonder, in the corner. I do so love it.
And tonight I'm going to paint some pottery with my mother and two of her friends.
None of my friends, though, because they can't. Bah, what good are friends if they never go anywhere with you? (That's a joke, because I never go anywhere with them!)
Oh, I also signed up for a 5K called Graffiti Me. It's great, you get sprayed with powdery paint as you run and get completely colored! My brother's friend is going to run with me-- see that? My brother's friend! I can't even beg my own to come!! Anyway, it's going to be cool and I'm excited about it.
One last bit: April has started a blog of her own! writelicious.blogspot.com Is it evil of me to mention that I came up with the superb name?? >=)
Actually, I thought of it, and then she said she thought of it before I mentioned it. But then I persuaded her to use it rather than the others she was considering.
So go look at it. Chop chop!
And here's a picture of my delightful new little computer. I named him Jarvis.



Tata you leopards!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Understand? (Part Two)


This brings me to the second part of my thoughts. Relaying what is on my mind to others is a hard task, indeed. I don't even know why. I think, perhaps, I'm exaggerating a little more than I should, but I have many people telling me that I don't explain things well enough and, sometimes, that I downright stink at speaking. I can sometimes bumble up my sentences, or start explaining something and then backtrack to explain something that happens before that. This can exasperate people at times. Why? Mostly because they're impatient.
Let me explain something here, it's not normally our fault that we don't speak well. Yes, we can better ourselves (oh, and I do, trust me), but be patient with these people. If you don't understand something they're explaining, simply say, "I don't understand."
I think that peoples' brains work different ways so I could relay something that makes perfect sense to me but to the person I'm relaying it to it could be Greek, for all they knew. It doesn't mean either of us is stupid, just that the bridge of communication is broken down and we're tossing words across the chasm of confusion, hoping we'll get our point across. Isn't it funny? We both speak English, but we still don't understand!

If you happen to come across a person such as I've described, please do not tell them that they stink at speaking. This will make them feel badly. Unless, of course, you feel you should..
Instead, attempt to communicate, things can't be so complicated that you can't take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to ask someone to repeat something. Giving up on understanding is a lazy cop-out. Just try to understand. Put forth the effort toward another human being. I'm sure we all have some scrap of humanity left in us that this shouldn't be too hard an exercise.
My best friend is so great about this, at least with me. She's very patient through what I'm saying and if she doesn't get it she says so and then I try to explain in a different way.
When you know someone well enough you become accustomed to their thinking processes, and then that makes it easier for you to explain things in the best way for them to understand.

Oftentimes people mistake what I say as something offensive. Before I know it, they're getting upset with me because of something I said that I did not mean, in anyway, to be taken as offensive!  This is another fault in a lot of people, assumptions are made when you don't fully understand what is being said. You fill in the blanks by yourself and come to a conclusion you aren't happy with.
Clarification is your best friend! You don't know the person's motives behind what they're saying--unless you ask them, of course, which involves communication--so you ought not assume that they're all wrong. Ask them to repeat what they just said, ask them to clarify. Sometimes there are no hidden meanings and what the person said is exactly what they meant. Women will have a harder time accepting this than men. If you could take a few extra words and ask a person what they meant -- without hostility -- it could put out a lot of sparks that could start fires.

Now, don't ask questions that you don't want the answers to! That's an entirely different topic that I may or may not expound upon in some sort of future. But I just wanted to say it before I ended. In all of this clarifying, you're usually having them clarify something which they want clarified. But I will be talking about THAT later.
Anyway, I think I'll close here. Except it's not a real close because you'll still have more to read down there vvvv notes that I wrote in the middle of writing this and the first part. Lol, I know, I'm weird sometimes. Well, tata!


So. I just stepped out and went for a little jog. I dragged my brother on a jog. And jog jog jogged. Yes.. I've downgraded to the term "jogging". I just didn't think I was fit for the title of "runner" anymore. I definitely have to work up to that status again.
But I did good jogging! And then there's the backwards hill, it's my favorite part! I walk up it backwards, boy do you get a great workout doing that! More things to think of on my walk: There is this strange noise outside my house--not right outside, more like down the hill, over the other houses, down the mountain and near the highway--or even by the train tracks. My point is.. there's a NOISE. It's fairly often, but I don't know how often and I just can't pinpoint what it is. It's the cross between a Saint Bernard barking (but more like a small RUFF, than a true bark) and an old car's throttle being revved. But a short rev. And then it also sounds like a shifter grinding between gears. So, can you place that sound? Cuz I can't. I've noticed it about twice a day. At night when I lie in bed with the window open (because it's hot) I've noticed it about three times.
Yes, it's strange. I only mention it now because I heard it again on my walk.
Also. I thought up an interesting sentence.
Dear Deer, today I saw a beer by a bear that dare share! Where? Do you care.
Now that you've been subjected to my senselessness, I will continue on with my original point. Only I will continue up there so that you will come to this part at the end of my serious talk so as to not disrupt the flow of your thoughts.
And tata again!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Understand? (Part One)

Hello, James, how are you this eve?
Oh, I'm just simply smashing, thank-you. And the wife and kids? Delightful.
Look, I realize it's been a while, but will you spare me the lecture? ..oh, that was your inquisitive voice? Darling, we really must work on your tones, you sound a little bit like an interrogator! Which sounds a little like Alligator. You know, that sparks in me a thought: Inspector Detector from Speed Racer. Now THAT is a fun name to say and THAT is a super fun movie. I think if you were to cut out a portion of my mind and put it in a movie, it would look like Speed Racer. Why a portion, you ask? It's simple, my dear--no, no, I don't have split personalities, let me finish--My humor, my character, my entire being--as a whole--could not be summed up in a simple cinematic experience such as Speed Racer. I like to think I'm a little more complex than all that.

But now that we've got the important part of our discussion out of the way..
My last blog was a little monkish with all its "finding one's self" and such. Which I don't regret! But now to lighten the mood.
Wait, nevermind, I came on here to discuss something thoughtful--so forget the lightened mood. Well, it could be a little ENlightened, perhaps. Alright, alright, I'll get on with it.
So my thoughts are focused on communication.
Why don't people do it more often? Why don't they just say things? I mean, don't blurt out everything that's on your mind, but if someone misunderstands, just explain.
Alright, I realize I need to go a little further back.

It all started when I was a young girl, riding a quad through the desert. I was on the side of a dune and thought it would be neat if I just stopped on a slope. Then the quad dumped me over, I fell, rolled down the hill and the quad followed after. It landed on me then proceeded to roll off. I got a mouth full of sand that day.. it didn't taste very good. But that story doesn't have anything to do with what I want to say. But at least, by now, most people have sighed and ex'd out of the page because I won't get to the point. That's good, it leaves only the serious people that are truly interested in what I have to say. Which is probably a grand total of three or eight.
Anyway, I always--not always, most of the time--thought I couldn't explain things properly. I sometimes have trouble with words and giving instructions/directions. [Except for this one time, three years ago, my best friend's luggage was left at the airport and the guy called for directions to my house. I gave them to him and when he got here he said that I was good at giving directions!]
That's beside the point.

My mind works in a certain way, when my dad or brother try to explain difficult math theory to me, my brain shuts down. But I had a great friend that took the time to explain things to me in simpler terms that totally clicked! I always thought I was bad at math, but I'm actually quite good at it if I understand it. Understanding it takes time and patience. And that's what I'm upset about. Time and patience. Nobody has it anymore!
I always treasured people that would take the time to explain something, rather than waving their hands and saying, "forget it."
Anything, a mathematical equation, an inside joke, a recipe, a story. Anything big or small.
When you say "forget it" rather than explaining it's like saying, "you're not worth the explanation."
Most people may not feel that way, but I do.
Why can't people be more patient and explain things? Laziness? Indifference? I don't know.
I had a friend that explained lots to me. He didn't have to and, compared to him, I felt like a moron. He was super smart but took the time to explain whatever I didn't understand.
I realize talking about this may make me sound like an idiot, but I'll take that chance and hope you guys take my word for it when I say I possess *some* intelligence.
Anyway, his name was Ben, and he was a good little friend to have.
Then there was Justin L (not to be confused with Justin Buddy). I was studying for my GED test and I needed, desperately, to understand math. He explained everything to me. I had such stupid questions but laugh he did not! Instead he just explained! And in simple terms, might I add. I felt like a champ going through my math test. Though I didn't ace it.. but I still felt like a champ.
So, think about my words next time someone doesn't understand something you say. Are you going to get frustrated and yell at them? Exasperated and shrug it off? Or will you be patient and explain? Realize that the latter will (or may) leave a lifelong impression on this person. Depends on the person. But it did and does for me.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Twinkling of the Eye

So, I've taken quite a long break from blogging!
Last week I decided to take a sabbatical from the internet, especially facebook and other very distracting websites. I also restricted myself from movies, the x-box, writing, junk food and money. My mind was far too jumbled up and I couldn't get things straight, I was moody and unpleasant and I didn't like my attitude a lot of the time. Some of you may not have noticed as much as others, but you can take my word for it. Even if I wasn't showing it, I know when my attitude needs tweaking, and it really really needed it.
I had ordered a really great all-in-one computer and wasn't expecting it until the end of June, so I gave myself two weeks to refresh my mind. I cut myself off from all outside influences (save my friends and family), I started meditating on God's word, praying more and listening to Godly music. In short, it's been an interesting past week.
I can't say that I completed all of my goals for the first week, but I can say that God's taught me a lot about patience, trusting in Him completely and setting my affections on above and not on things on the Earth (as Colossians 3:2 says).

I did have trouble directing my thoughts away from that of the world, money problems, computer anxieties, etc. . . I forced myself to not think about my computer until I got it. That was yesterday. . .and the computer arrived yesterday morning! Right in the middle of my sabbatical!! How inconvenient. I have fifteen days to test it out and decide if I want to keep it or not (I'm leaning more towards keeping it) so I'm like, "I've got to test it out as much as possible to really be sure I want this thing!" And, if you know me, you know how terrible I am at making choices.
But, at the same time, I have to balance testing out my computer while continuing on with my sabbatical! I'm allowed to get on the computer, but Facebook and the problematic websites are out of it (news websites and movie websites, basically, I get way too into politics!).
Which is why I'm writing this blog, I always figured I might write about this and didn't restrict myself from blogging.

This sabbatical was called, "Finding Andrea." I'm not sure if I found myself quite yet, but I'm aware that, in order to find one's self, you've first got to die to yourself. When you die to your selfishness, your wants, your needs, and make Christ your desire, that's when you'll find your true self. Sadly, sometimes I'm not always doing this. But I'm so thankful for God showing me all these lessons this past week, and I look forward to continuing in them as I go.
A lot of this journey has been personal but I'll share with you my creed, it went like this:

I will surround myself with pure, holy things.
I will fill my mind with the word of God.
I will confess my confidence in Christ.
I will search the scriptures and their meanings.
I will act only in love towards those around me.
I will keep my body in physical wellness.
I will purify my mind, I will not concern myself with the troubles of the world.
I will pray. I will bring all things before God.
I will rejoice. 
I will keep chores done and do so without grumbling.
I will work unto the Lord.
I will work on communicating.
I will meditate.
I will die to myself.
I will work to please Christ.
In so doing, I will find myself.

To some, it may seem as thought I'm being all extreme and turning into a nun.
Others, might think this is all every-day choices they already make (and that's good! And I commend you).
And, well, to others you probably think that it sounds like a Jedi recitation..
Anyway, that was my little list of inspirational goals. Like I said, I didn't complete them all, all the time. But they were great guidelines to get me started. I was tested during this week but I had good old Best Friend there to say, "hey, snap out of it, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!"
I realized that I can't expect myself to get it all just off the bat, but that practice makes perfect. God is with me this whole time, and through the rest of my life, helping me get it right.
We truly can do all things through Christ.
And we can do nothing apart from Him.
I knew a lot of these things, and I'm not saying I became a dirty, rotten sinner and backslide into sliminess, I just wasn't happy with who I was in Christ and as myself. That's why I did this, to clear my mind, center myself and make sure my priorities are straight, dead-center on Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, now you know of Andrea's secret sabbatical. I look forward to the next week, to pushing through to the end and coming out with a lot of lessons learned. Not only to next week, but the rest of my life! I intend to carry this new attitude throughout the years, and IF I find myself becoming flavorless, I will direct my attention back to it. It's just so easy to become distracted in this world, in this life, with petty, meaningless things. It takes the light off of what's truly important: Christ. Winning souls for God. Being fishers of men. That requires us to be selfless. These needless distractions are anything but.
And, though I didn't walk through the past week upholding all my goals, I still gleaned a lot from it. And I find myself refreshed, having been unplugged from the world for a while (and might even do it more often, or make some permanent changes).
So, my question for you: Are you in a place where God wants you? Are you happy with your walk in Christ? Are you finding yourself being much too distracted with the world? If so, I implore you to take some time to get your priorities straight. Because, it'll be just a moment, just a twinkling of an eye and, just like that, it'll all be over.

-Sister Monk Jedi Master Andrea

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ode to Buddy


Buddy, Buddy, my dear best friend.
You'll be my friend to the utmost end.

Through thick and thin, through fiery hold.
You're always there, with your heart of gold.

To write these words, just eight then nine.
Isn't that easy, have you ever tried?

Oh, wait, you have, you taught me to.
You teach a lot, you silly old you.

Yes, my friend, you've taught quite a lot.
You've giv'n me council, when it's been sought.

You don't give up, you're tried and true.
You nev'r give up, you silly old you.

[here's where I give up on the 8-9 thing]

And for that I am thankful, I'm thankful so much.
For a buddy so faithful, with an ever sweet touch.

You know me so well, better than most some would say.
And for this I say, 'bravo', on our little friend day.

  
-A.A. Smugg
So, today marks the day I met my BFF nine years ago!

It was a fateful day, that, we met at starwars.com at the forum chat room called Talk Like Yoda. 

Memories...such memories. We were but little morsels of teenagers back then!

This is a person that I went through my awkward, nerdy teenager stage with, learned a lot of life's lessons and then we crossed over into womanhood clutching onto each others arms for dear life.
God has taught me so many valuable lessons from our friendship. A lot of lessons about life, about how relationships work and how communication is necessary for a healthy relationship--no matter who it is.
And I tell you, if there ever were two people olde Satan didn't want to be friends, I'd be willing to bet it was us.
He's tried to come between us more times than I even care to remember. 
But, really, it was Buddy who was always like, "look, I don't want to give up on our awesome friendship." She was the stubborn one, I was always being the brat like, "being friends is too hard, let's just stop." haha, not ALWAYS. (I love you buddy). Those were the especially difficult times in our lives. We'd get into petty arguments or disagreements but the important thing is: We overcame. We rose above them and came out stronger and more seasoned best friends! (Super seasoned, like with garlic, maybe some onion, add some of that spice).
We've learned that if we have a problem with something the other said or did and we can't just put it behind us, then we need to bring it up. Communication is such a vital part in any relationship and I'll always be grateful to God for giving me such a great best friend to teach me this lesson BEFORE I'm in a marriage. So many people don't even know how to communicate and they've been married for years!



I'm telling you, BFF and I have faced it all (so far). We've been through a fire -- no, a real fire, I mean the hill I lived on was on fire and we almost got stuck and DIED. DIIIIEEEEDDDD. 

That was in 2003 when I still lived in San Diego. It was called the 2003 Firestorms or Cedar fire. It wasn't pretty. It was actually scary. Google "2003 Firestorms" or "2003 Cedar Fire"


Photo from top 10 fires: 
http://www.listzblog.com/top_ten_deadly_fires_history_list.html
San Diego was basically on fire. We were stuck on a mountain and the fire was licking up the back of it and the traffic was at a standstill and we haven't even evacuated our house yet. I was trying to get a hold of buddy but her mom was on the phone with her brother who lived in SD as well. Finally buddy called and asked if everything was alright, to which I told her (in a helpless voice mind you) "No!"
Just as I said that, the cars started moving and I said, "well." and then the phone cut out.
Poor buddy had no idea what kind of situation I was in or if I was okay. But, thank the Lord, the traffic was moving, we jumped in our million cars and RV and drove on out of there. I remember as we crossed a part of the road, I could see flames. It was intense. But we reached the safety of my aunt's house--that's where my whole family and our cousins stayed for, like, five days. That night was such a long night, me and my siblings and cousins camped out on my aunt's living room floor and then my aunt's sister calls and leaves a message on the machine (because it's like midnight) saying she's heard on the news that the mountain we lived on is completely destroyed. Thanks for the nice bedtime story! It'll help me sleep lots better now.
And poor buddy, I didn't want to call her in the middle of the night to tell her I was okay so she had no idea what was going on until the next morning.
It was this fire, this moment in our lives, that pushed us together. Beforehand we were just little internet friends that didn't know much about each other, we talked on the phone once a week for about an hour, but that's about it. But in the embers of this fire a strong bond was formed and it has not been broken since.

In addition to that, we've been through all sorts of other such friendship strengtheners. One of the other big ones is my faith. I did not always believe the way I did and we quickly found out that we had differences.
I accepted this at first, we just couldn't really talk in depth about the Bible. But then, something got at me, someone had to be wrong. There weren't TWO truths out there.
Very very very long story short, BFF prayed for me just about every single day until, finally, she just came straight out with it and told me the truth about the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This changed my life forever and it almost ended our friendship. Wouldn't Satan of loved that?
I didn't talk to her for a week, but eventually came around and, secretly, SILENTLY, started looking into the Bible without telling anyone. I came to a lot of conclusions and God brought me to His truth. But I won't spoil the rest of the story! I'm going to save it for another special time (don't worry, you only have to wait a month).
But my point IS, Buddy and I have gone through fires physically and spiritually and came out the better for it. Christ has been so awesome to give us such a wonderful friendship and I will always thank Him for such a loyal pal.

Here's to you, Buddy, thanks for putting up with my Andreaish ways all these nine indelibly delicious years.
-Your pal, Andrea

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Billowing Curtains

Hello Jimmy!
Well, I'm back from my sabbatical.
What was my sabbatical, you ask? No idea.
Well, it wasn't much of a sabbatical, but more or less laziness. But I like to call that laziness uninspiration. I moved my furniture around to a position I THOUGHT was appropriate, but you see, precious, if the desk isn't perfectly so, my writer's mind just does not work. Really. EVEN if I use my computer on my bed or anywhere else in my room, my writer's mind is sitting at my desk and my desk has to be exactly so.
I tell you the truth! It was in a corner and only had a partial view out the window. For so long I've had writer's block or writer's apathy. But I drag my brothers in here and in ten minutes I had my desk back in front of the window and, viola, here I am! It's amazing.

Say, Jim, what'd you do for Mother's day? This is what I did! I glued seed packets on dowels to make a flower bouquet. Hopefully, if taken care of, the flowers will last a long long time! I got all perennials so that will help, and my Mother is such a green thumb, I have great hopes for them.

There are milk and dark chocolates in the bottom of the vase. I'm that good.




It is truly Spring/Summer here in the North. And I'm loving ever second of it. I even opened my window!
See? This is what a REAL writer's desk looks like--I mean where it should be. RIGHT in front of the window. Ah, so perfect.

So, I've been basically busy. I've fixed my crown molding so that the nails aren't showing (filled them with caulking). And I painted my molding and painted my ceiling.
I have just a tad bit more of details to do, but then my room will be finished! YAY!
Well, finished for now..
You can see the top where I caulked, and the bottom yet to be. It makes a big difference!!

Painting over my scripture...I've turned into such a heathen. And--what's this?? My foot??

Progress

This was my thought regarding the Swiss Coffee paint I was using for my trim.

GOLDEN fan. No thanks!

I couldn't help myself. The off-white ceiling was getting to me!!!

Pulling apart that fan was an annoyance I shan't suffer myself through again.

Tada! oh, yes, the blades look blue in comparison to my white ceiling so now I have to paint them as well.


So, wasn't that lovely?
Other things I've been doing includes riding bikes, nothing, nothing and milking a cow!
Yes. I milked a real live cow. They said she was a small cow, but she looked like a mammoth to me!! I was so freaked out to get that close to it, but once I started, milking was fun!
I also posted a color test, remember? Well, if you don't, then you must take a look!
http://stayathomesister.blogspot.com/2012/04/test.html 
Now take a moment to look it over and decide what number is my favorite. 
And below, I shall reveal it.






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keep going! It's a huge secret!!!




















Number............................































ALL OF THEM!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHA not really.






























                         i am number FOUR
A close second was number 2. But definitely number 4. To further prove that point, I went out yesterday and did something I don't remember ever doing in my life--I bought fingernail polish. Wouldn't you know, it's basically the same shade as number 4, almost a mix between 4 and 2 but I thought it was funny I should find that color.
Anyways, this is where I close for now.
I hope you have a wonderful day, James, and wish your family all the best.
-Andrea