I Have This Great Idea...

...and it'll taste just like chicken!

Summer Storms

This just taken outside...


Grand Plan

Inspired by Keri Smith's "Create-A-Thing-A-Day", I've decided August will be "Photo-A-Day Month". If you'd like to participate, shoot me an e-mail and I'll add you to my links list.

Until then, photos from the Christmas in July party are up, as well as some weekend fun with John and Andrea.



2 Camels, ≤ 8 Cows, 14 Goats

I'm house-sitting right now (the house of "saber-tooth tiger pancake" fame). While having the walk through before they all left, Michelle was very careful to make sure that I had spares of everything–she apparently knows me all to well! Unfortunately, while rushing out the door for an emergency print job, as I shut the locked door, I realized I had left my keys and all the spares inside. (As a point of defense, I normally keep my keys in my bag for such a time as this, and this was the first time I'd left them up on the key rack by the door.) Alas, this did not occur to me until I heard the door click and looked at my empty hands to finish the locking up ritual. Mortification flooded my mind as I realized what I had done. I sheepishly called Gary & Michelle to alert them to my self-inflicted predicament. The solutions recommended involved breaking into the upper story and calling various people to see if they had a ladder I could borrow to do so. In the midst of phone calls, it occurred to me to try the old "credit-card-in-the-doorway" trick. And what do you know? It doesn't work only in the movies! Resipiscent, I retrieved my keys and locked up. As I walked to my car, however, I realized my apparel was mocking me. Tonight's t-shirt had big bold letters reading: "THINK".

Oh well. I think I might've lost a few cows in the dowry by locking myself out...but also inadvertently regained them by breaking back into the house.


Mommy, the Neighbors Want To Play With My Head, Again

Our house has been a hubbub of activity lately. Wednesday nights have become our "unstructured chill night". One never knows what to expect, but they're always delightful. This last Wednesday, after dinner with some lovely dinner guests, we were joined by a delightfully creative bunch for several rounds of Telephone Pictionary. It's been a long time since I've laughed so hard!

*Note: The pictures are best viewed at their original size. Click on the "All Sizes" button on top of the pictures to see the details of our jocularity.


Big Imaginations

I love hand-illustrations. The human element in them is so prevalent and accessible. It's like being given a personal invitation to take a peek into someone else's muse. Or sitting on someone's porch and quietly watching the sunset together, enjoying the audible silence and relishing the visual "WOO-HOO!"

Three illustrators come to mind:

Mattias Adolfsson. Yes, yet another great thing from Sweden! His imagination is so wide! His blog is worth perusing through several pages of his whimsical, futuristic Moleskein illustrations.

Keri Smith. Collage-extraordinaries! Her colors and textures are incredible. I always wonder what it would be like to watch her at work, how she gathers her materials and ideas. She's also written up some fantastic articles on creativity and I highly recommend her 100 List.

Craig Garrison. While Craig specializes in the digital realm (and all of his work is fantastic), I particularly enjoy his sketches.


Weekend + 1: A photo essay


Out of Orded
Our attempt to find the fourth Harry Potter film led us from the video store with snarky employees to Wal-Mart, where apparently someone else was having a rather long day as well.

A kitty in the lap makes any long day better.

Guess What We Want To Watch?
The evening was spent collaging and crafting at the table, until John and Nicky came downstairs and asked, "Guess which movie we'd like to see?" We were more than happy to oblige.


The plan: breakfast and a movie. Jessie and I made pancakes.

Pancake fun!
We laughed a lot in the process.

Kitty pancake
...especially with our pancake shapes. (Not pictured: saber-toothed tiger)

Our hard work made Jessie stick her head in the freezer to cool off.

Bonnie set out some yummy foods for her "Favorite Things" party.

She received lovely flowers, too.

Fun gift cards
And rewarded people who RSVP'd.

Bonnie copying down MadLib words
We played silly games.


A day of worship.


Whimpy lightning
We finally got rain at our house. I tried to capture lightning, but I get so amazed by watching that I forget to snap my shutter quick enough!

Roomies in the rain
It was so beautiful outside, the roomies sat outside on the sidewalk, in the drizzle, to enjoy the weather. We laugh a lot together.

One of my favorite things
One of my all-time most favorite things is the feeling of rain on my face. I hadn't laid out in the rain since Switzerland.


Now tired out from an evening of refreshing wetness (and communal Calvin & Hobbes reading), three of us retire to the living room. Bonnie naps on the couch. Liz reads and journals. I plan menus and edit photos. We all listen to my "Winter Solstice" mix. Even though it's not winter, it has some of the most cozy, comforting music. It is a welcome relief from my persistent ennui.



My First Ride

Today, I fulfilled a dream and did the most dangerous thing I have ever done.

This evening, I did a photoshoot with my friend, Jason, for the men's conference. Jason rides a Harley-Davidson and in order to get the desired photo, I had to ride with him. I've been contemplating a motorcycle purchase for awhile after watching The Long Way Round with Eden. Although I would love to scoot around town in a Vespa, I never thought I'd ever get the opportunity until I moved to some place like Portland or Seattle. It was thrilling experience to say the least! The danger in this was I was shooting photos while riding. Don't try it at home, kids. (Although I did end up with the photo I was needing!)

Ride On

Anthropomorphism at its finest

"I was so misunderstood. Nobody seemed to like me. I annoyed them. I got on their nerves. I don't know why."


Feeling Alive

It is not uncommon for me to engage in the conflict between my tree-hugging-idealism and the manicured lawn suburbia that I currently live in. Switzerland spoiled me, filling every corner of the outdoors with mountains and living creatures. While nature should never be used to prove the existence of God, the brief moments of creation's beauty that force me to stop and marvel convince me that He is good. For a long time, I've been whimpering at the lack of green and natural life around here, wishing there were a city garden nearby, fearing the false sense of nature would eventually kill my soul. This weekend, I finally found the Riparian Institute just a few miles away from the house. I spent this evening wandering around the trails, shooting a few photos here and there. It felt so good to be surrounded by bird calls, the sound of dragonflies, and the wind blowing through the cottonwood trees. I stayed to watch the sunset, debating whether I should return for sunrise the next morning. The discovery of this reserve is a long-awaited respite. I am eager to come back.

Marsh grass

Great Blue Heron


3 Musicians You Should Be Listening To

Jon Troast. Heard this fellow from Wisconsin on Prairie Home Companion a few weeks ago. He was playing, "Was It Ever Really Mine?" and I knew he'd become an instant favorite. His music is delightful, ranging from "The Most" to which he proclaims his love above all other loves (such as brown sugar on his toast, pajamas, and talking about old times), to "Dish and Spoon", a saucy love escapade based on the nursery rhyme, to "Family Like Mine", where he recounts with honest gratitude for his family (which you should read his bio to gather a little more context).

Eliot Morris. It took me awhile to decide if I liked his music or not. His music isn't quite the type to be sluffed in the background music mix. It wasn't until I discovered that he rewards those who listen with intentionality, I quickly discovered his full sounds, tickling the same parts of my ear that musicians such as Counting Crows and John Mayer entertain. After a bit of research, I found out that he'd had a band named after one of my favorite Flannery O'Connor's short stories, Parker's Back. His tunes are sweet, rich, and remind me of trains.

Josh Verdes. His music sounds like California to me. I imagine driving down the coast somewhere near San Diego with "Deep Down" blaring from my stereo. Listen and download his music from his Myspace.


Never Fails

I predict rain within the next week.

...because I'm washing my car.