Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just 7 Days After Christmas!

Merry Christmas 7 days late! I hope everyone had a splendid day! I had a delightful time out in the great state of Colorado in the presence of some lovely people - Mom, Dad, Courto, Matt and Sonya.

We arrived home on Tuesday evening. When we left for Colorado, my room was in utter disarray - I couldn't even sleep in the place because my bed was loaded down with stuff. Within the hour of our return, I was whipping my room back into shape.

After cleaning my room up to a temporarily agreeable state I began making my plan of attack for the rest of my Christmas break. This past semester my life has gotten into a bit of disarray and my room was just a visual of the disorganization I put myself through. So I made myself a list of things I need to get done during break. And then I made a list of habits that I need to establish in my life to help stop the disarray from repeating itself. I'll share my habit list with you and you can ask me how I'm doing on sticking to them.

Habits To Develop/ Redevelop In 2010:
  • Tithing after each pay check
  • Reading up on current world events
  • Praying for country & world - believers
  • Praying for Estery & Rafiki
  • Completing & sending mentor logs after each meeting with Suzie
  • Filing statements
  • Weekly checking bank accounts & credit card
  • Sticking to a budget - SAVING
  • Journaling daily
  • Blogging weekly
  • Calling family members on a regular basis
  • Writing to Grandma W.
  • Sharing the Gospel/ Giving testimony to what God has done and is doing for me
  • Memorizing Scripture
  • Exercising
  • Taking vitamins twice a day
  • Doing my Bible study in the morning
  • Flossing teeth every night
  • Giving people gifts on time
Yesterday Mom and I left to get groceries around noon and came home about seven hours later. Needless to say, we added a few extra quick little stops in to our trip. One of those "quick little stops" was Target. I wanted to get some refills for my planner so I can get my life organized but they were fresh out. So I got some wrapping paper instead. This brings up another area of my life that has gone into utter disarray! Giving gifts - I really shafted some people this year on birthday and Christmas gifts or even just a card - sorry to those of you who were on the receiving end of that. (Just added that to my habit list) But that is going to change this year because I have all my Christmas wrapping needs ready to go. And at a steal of a deal: 15 sheets of tissue paper, 5 gift bags, 16 gift cards and 1 roll of wrapping paper - all for $3.21! Amazing, huh?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Just 29 Days Until Christmas!

First off, I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving but... now that Turkey Day has come and gone, I would just like to send out an official welcome to the Christmas season! Although a large portion of the world has already begun to partake of Christmassy things, I have held back until today. Today I busted out my Christmas shirt, striped jingle bell sock and I listened to some Christmas music! And during some of the many down moments at work today I got to do some Christmas coloring. Just imagine that my picture says "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays" and it will make it look a little better. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heaven Has Come Down!

My craving for cream cheese smothered pickles wrapped in ham proved to be no small craving and by Monday night I had decided it was time to pick up the necessary items to create these bits of heaven. On my way home from Bible study I stopped by O'Malia's Food Market, snatched up my goods, hurried home, tore into my purchases, assembled my creations and devoured these tasty pickings. And let me tell you - they were oh sooooooooo satisfying! Completely amazing! Astoundingly stupendous! Absolutely delightful! Incredibly ambrosial! 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Modicums From My Life

A couple days ago I paid T.J. Maxx a visit and made a big purchase for myself - a pair of snowpants! Now I am not a big fan of snow, which is good since we don't get too many dumping of white fluff in Indianapolis. But for the few times that we do get snow, I thought it would be nice to be properly equipped. So when I saw these nice Columbia pants for 34.99 I thought I'd snatch them up. I'm planning on these lasting me for the rest of my life. And now, Matt and Sonya, I am prepared to visit you over Christmas if the opportunity arises! However, I'm still in need of a pair of snowboots that fit.

Last week in my Bible study I was reading John chapter 5. As some of you may know, verse 4 is left out but I did not realize this and it just blew my mind. The verse itself and the fact that it was left out caused a lengthy discussion between mom, Nealy and I. Here are the verses so you'll know what I'm talking about.

"Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people
used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?' 'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'" (Verse 4 is in italics)

So what really blew my mind was this whole angel of the Lord stirring up the water and these invalids being healed. Nealy said she remembers Sunday school stories about this but I most certainly don't remember reading this or hearing any stories about this. It all just sounded a little strange to me. I believe that God can heal people in whatever way He chooses but this method is quite different than any of the other ways seen in the Bible. Verse 4 does make verse 7 (the invalid's response to Jesus asking him if he'd like to be well) more understandable. So I don't know if verse 4 is true or not, if you have an opinion on the matter, please share your insight. Even though I didn't really understand the verse, I did find an amusing thought from it. I had this image of an angel flying in over the pool on a cloud pulling a gigantic spoon out of his robe, extending it into the pool and giving it a good mix. In the meantime I saw all of the blind and lame people pushing, shoving and stumbling over each other as they raced toward the pool to see who could get in first. This may not be good of me, but I had a nice chuckle.... or healthy laugh, as this image passed through my mind.

On Saturday I went to a friend's to have some real English tea. She's from the UK and had just gotten back from a visit home and was stocked up with good English tea. Honestly, I didn't notice much difference but I did thoroughly enjoy the tea all the same. Something else that she brought back from the UK that I am thoroughly excited about are these Happy Hippos that you see above. I first experienced these delightful little snacks when I was spending my semester in Italy. I absolutely loved these things! There are two variations: the first has a creamy milk and hazelnut filling with a thin, wafery shell. The other is milk and cocoa inside and both look like cute little hippos. You just can't go wrong with these things! I was so disappointed when I got back home and couldn't find these things anywhere. When Laura left for England she asked if I wanted her to bring anything back. I didn't remember seeing happy hippos when I was in London but thought I'd ask her if she'd seen them at home. And fortunately she had!

Since meeting Laura a couple months ago, I have been drinking a lot more tea. In fact one week instead of drinking my usual morning cup of coffee each day, I drank tea. And I do especially enjoy drinking it the British way - with milk. While I do like English breakfast tea, I think one of my new favorite teas is Earl Grey.

About four or five weeks ago I finally got another job! I am now employed by the Picture People, a photography studio in the Greenwood Park Mall. The picture on the left is what I look like at work... kind of.

Today I have been having some serious meat cravings, specifically a delectable steamed bagel sandwich from theRipple Bagel & Deli in Broad Ripple. I have only been here twice and both times I have gotten the evil doer: roast beef, cream cheese, smoke 'em out cheddar, sprouts, mustard and mayo on a sunflower bagel. It's terribly amazing and I want it right now! I think I could also settle for a couple cream cheese smothered baby pickles wrapped in ham.

Speaking of pickles, I decided to open my horizons and follow dad's example by putting some bread and butter pickles on my burger. And I have decided that I am officially a fan!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Imaginary Friend

The other day as I was walking to my class at IUPUI, I passed the Democracy Plaza where students, faculty and staff gather to hash out differing thoughts and views on various topics of life. I saw this written on one of the plaza columns: "Adults who have invisible friends are stupid." At first I agreed with this, thinking "Yeah, that's pretty silly for adults to have invisible friends" and then it dawned on me that it was referring to Christians being stupid for believing in God. That's when I decided I didn't agree with it so much! But it did get me to thinking. That,  and this question I was asked during my BSF lecture on Monday night, "Why do I follow God?" Later that day I saw this video:

The thought I saw written on the column at IUPUI did not make wonder if I believed in a lie or cause me to think that I simply talk to a figment of my imagination when I pray to God. When asked why I follow God at BSF, I didn't feel as though the time I've spent learning about God, seeking after God, and living to please God throughout the years have been a waste of my time. I didn't need the argument presented in the video to assure me that God exists.  

So what did these questions get me to thinking about? If I think that God is more than just a fabricated invisible friend and that learning about God, seeking after God, and living to please God is worthwhile, am I living like I believe these things? Does my life show that I believe in a God who has the power, intelligence and artistry to create the universe? Does my life show that I believe in a God that is holy, loving and merciful enough to provide a way to justify sinners, give purpose to life and promise a future with Him? Or does my life seem to say that I believe in something as weak and meaningless as a childish imaginary friend?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Buggy Eyes

I am working on a project for school where I will be creating some kind of geometric pattern using just medium gray, black and white. While doing some research I came upon a few illusional pictures that got my eyes going a little buggy. I know you all have seen these things before but I thought I'd share some more with you just for kicks. 

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google Man's Location of the Moment

I discovered today that the little man on Google Maps can be dragged over to the map and will show you a picture of wherever he lands. I found this quite entertaining. He even "runs" from site to site! I think this could be addicting! Try it out yourself and see what I mean!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Junket to Cincinnati

This past Saturday was my birthday and to celebrate Mom, Courto and I went to Cincinnati. The big stops were Ikea,  Jungle Jim's and Graeter's. Jungle Jim's, a huge international grocery store, was by far the best stop. It is filled with all kinds of wonderfulness that takes hours to see it all! In the picture, are the treasures I came away with: some white gourd juice, lavender flavoring (now everyone who comes to visit me can experience a lavender latte!), Fun Dips in the new tropical flavors with a lime dip stix, sake, ginger cola, Underburg, tea and Japanese coffee. It's quite difficult choosing what to get here. Next time I want to have some recipes to get ingredients for an international meal. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mysterious Appearing

I woke up this morning to find this mysterious drawing on my foot. Courtney, were you doodling on my foot while I was sleeping last night?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Strange Stories, Amazing Facts

A little over two years ago Courtney and I ventured out to Minnesota to visit Ellie, one of my friends from Italy for a few days before we all headed out to Idaho to visit Anneke, another friend from Italy. We stopped in at one of Ellie's favorite coffee shops and as we sat sipping our coffee, I found much entertainment from a book laying on one of the tables. It was Strange Stories, Amazing Facts. I fell in love with this book and asked if I could buy it. The lady there at the time didn't have say over the books but called me back the next day with the glorious news that I could purchase the book! I think this book may have begun a new phase in my life which should be easy to guess -  my fascination with anything strange or amazing! 

Since purchasing this book, I have found many other books of the same sort. I realized the other day that I had not read it for quite some time so I remedied that by reading some to Courtney and Emily as we drove around by Pike's Peak. (I don't think they appreciate it as much as I do.)

I thought I would share a story with all of you as well! I didn't spend muhch time picking this story out. In fact I just chose to you the one that appeared when I opened it up. This story if from the "Footsteps into the Unknown" section.

Strange case of the two Titanics

A floating palace sailed from Southampton in 1898 on her maiden voyage. It was the biggest and grandest liner ever built, and rich passengers savored its luxury as they journeyed to the United States. But the ship never reached its destination: Its hull was ripped open by an iceberg, and it sank with heavy loss of life. 

That liner existed only on paper, in the imagination of a novelist named Morgan Robertson. The name he gave to his fictional ship was Titan, and the book's title was Futility

Both the fiction and the futility were to turn into terrifying fact. Fourteen years later a real luxury liner set out on a similar maiden voyage. It too was laden with rich passengers. It too rammed an iceberg and sank; and, as in Robertson's novel, the loss of life was fearful because there were not enough lifeboats. It was the night of April 14, 1912. The ship was the RMS Titanic

Passenger's preview of doom
In many other ways than the similarity of their names the Titan of Robertson's novel was a near duplicate of the real Titanic. They were roughly the same size, had the same speed and the same carrying capacity of about 3,000 people. Both were "unsinkable." And both sank in exactly the same spot in the North Atlantic.

But the strange coincidences do not end there. The famous journalist W.T. Stead published in 1892, a short story that proved to be a preview of the Titanic disaster. Stead was a Spiritualist: He was also one of the 1, 513 people who died when the Titanic went down. 

Backward recollection
Neither Robertson's horror novel nor Stead's prophetic story served as a warning to the Titanic's captain in 1912. But a recollection of that appalling tragedy did save another ship in similar circumstances 23 years later. 

A young seaman named William Reeves was standing watch in the bow of a tramp steamer, Canada-bound from England in 1935. It was April - the month of the iceberg disasters, real and fictional - and young Reeves had brooded deeply on them. His watch was due to end at midnight. This, he knew, was the time the Titanic had hit the iceberg. Then, as now, the sea had been calm. 

These thoughts took shape and swelled into omens in the seaman's mind as he stood his lonely watch. His tired, bloodshot eyes strained ahead for any sign of danger, but there was nothing to be seen; nothing but a horizonless, impenetrable gloom. He was scared to shout an alarm, fearing his shipmate's ridicule. But he also was scared not to do so. 

Then, suddenly, he remembered the exact date of the Titanic accident - April 14, 1912. The coincidence was terrifying - it was the day he had been born. He shouted out a danger warning, and the helmsman rang the signal: engines full astern. The ship churned to a halt - just yards from a huge iceberg that towered menacingly out of the night. 

More deadly icebergs crowded in around the tramp steamer, and it took nine days for icebreakers from Newfoundland to smash a way clear. 
The name of the ship that nearly shared the Titanic's fate was, ironically, the Titanian.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saying Farewell (for now at least...)

Exactly four months ago, my dream of getting dreads came true! While I am thoroughly glad I got them, I have decided that my hair is not very conducive to maintaining the knotted look. 

I have asked Matt to shave my head when he comes out to Indiana in September but until then I decided to chop my hair myself! I chopped all of the dreads out and then Nealy helped me shape it up a bit. But it really looked pretty good right after I just hacked everything off! 

I'm hoping Matt chooses to accept my proposition and then I have this crazy hope that my hair will grow back frizzy so I can get some good looking dreads that will last!

For a more thorough viewing of this farewell process, you can visit my facebook page.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slingin the Slang

After our visit to Pike's Peak on Saturday we went to Columbus to enjoy a little dessert at Zaharakos. It was a really neat old ice cream parlor that had been closed for a couple of years and just reopened in June. As soon as we were seated, we were entertained by our enlightening placemats. I particularly liked this one that has a bit of early 1900s lingo on it. 

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Indiana Mountain

For those of you who don't remember or perhaps did not see my post about Pike's Peak, IN I'd like to direct you back to that post so you can better appreciate this post. 

The other day Courto and Emily, a friend from IWU and myself went to check out the mountain in Indiana! Here we are at the summit of Pike's Peak, Elev. 840 ft. 

We took some back country roads through Brown County territory (up in highlands) to get there. Besides the mountain, I didn't really know what to expect from Pike's Peak, IN. Our directions ended shortly after turning onto Bellsville Road. We drove by Crouch's Market but it still looked a little rural so we decided to trek a little further to find the heart of town. However, in a mile or less we saw a church bearing the name "Harmony" and decided to retreat to Crouch's Market. Apparently, the market is the heart of town as it is the only business and non-residential establishment besides the Church of Christ. 

The market was a mini Walmart, faithfully serving the needs of the community at the foot of Pike's Peak. In the back corner was this fantastic little section that filled  with hats, t-shirts, and sweatshirts, all at least 20 years old or more. I absolutely loved these shirts and am proudly modeling my find in the picture!

 As a little bonus to our trip to Pike's Peak, IN we found this great little stone head mile marker just outside of town. We decided to have our lunch by him. Apparently all of the motorists who drove by thought this was funny but I didn't get to see their humored facial expressions because my back was to them. 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dining Alfresco

Last Sunday Courto, Danielle and I went on a picnic. We had chicken salad and lemonade in my new glass bottle! And of course we got to use my new picnic basket! It was simply magnificent. However, I will admit to a few flaws. I was the creator of the chicken salad and I chose not to have the chicken diced really small (Courto did the cutting). I wasn't really thinking about how they can be a bit sloppy in a croissant and small pieces help it stay inside better.Plus, it just spreads the chicken goodness around more! The other fault of the chicken salad is that I forgot to put the walnuts in! I made the salad on Saturday afternoon and didn'twant the nuts to get soggy. So I'm not sure what's better... soggy nuts or no nuts. But to make up for my chicken salad mishaps, I did make some pretty good sour cream cookies. 

P.S. Sorry for the sloppy layout. I gave up on Blogger!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coffee News

The other day I stopped in at The Bean Cup and picked up the latest issue of Coffee News. These things are simply fantastic! It is filled with local news, random quotes, trivia and interesting facts. And you can enter to win a $200 prize pack! Why have I not paid better attention to these gold-mines of information and opportunity?! For those of you who may also have been neglecting your local Coffee News, let me share some interesting facts for you that I have learned from my issue. 

A Quoteable Quote:
"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."       Albert Einstein

Did You Know...
The average hippopotamus can hold up to 400 pounds of food in its belly. Despite its tremendous size, it can run short distances at 30 mph, faster than an Olympic sprinter.

Let Us Mend Our Pace

I have just begun reading The Pilgrim's Progress and am finding the old English to be rather entertaining. One quote I have especially enjoyed is made by Pliable after Christian has been explaining the wonders of the heaven: "Well, my good Companion, glad am I to hear of these things; come on, let us mend our pace." I can't wait to tell someone to mend their pace when they are being a bit too putsy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I really need to hit the sack but I just discovered something so exciting I would burst if I could not share it somehow! 

A while ago I learned about Sechler's Pickle Factory and wrote it down in my notebook as a place of interest after learning you could get orange, lemon, apple cinnamon and raisin flavored pickles. 

Tonight I thought I'd find out where where this place was at and in the process I learned another wonderful bit of information about Sechler's... they have a Pickle Festival in August! And at this 13th Annual Pickle Festival one of the many great things you can do is acquaint your taste-buds with pickle ice cream!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Beautiful Old Bicycle!

Last Friday and Saturday there was a wonderful event called the Buchanan Community Garage Sale. This event is huge, people even take off of work to attend. I was informed of this event the first week I was here at Life Action and was greatly anticipating its arrival! However, when morning came last Friday, things did not look so hopeful for this cherished event. The sky was dark, thunder rumbled, lightening struck and rain poured from the sky! Carrie and I were almost sure there would be no garage sales open so we just went about our business, running a few errands in Buchanan. After finishing up, we noticed the weather had improved a bit and decided to make a little run through town to see if anyone had opened up shop. As we drove up the main thoroughfare we saw a few people walking, armed and ready for a day of garage saling, and our hopes rose! Then we looked to our right and were delighted to see open doors welcoming eager shoppers into their treasure-filled garage!

It was not hard to find and abundance of wonders but the real treasure came right at the end of Carrie and I's shopping extravaganza. At our last stop were two vintage bikes. Ever since I returned from Italy I have dreamed of owning a quaint old bike that I could put a basket on and ride all over town in. After Carrie helped me barter the beautiful vintage bike down to $15, my dream has now become a reality! I could barely wait to take my bike out on a ride and did so as soon as we got home. It was just a short first ride because lightening cut it short. But when the sky cleared up I headed out again and ventured around on country roads for a little over an hour. And let me tell you, it was glorious!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Memorizing to Cognizance

For almost three weeks now I have been having a grand old time with Dennis and Carrie up in South Bend. During the week Carrie has been helping me get my tush out of bed in the morning to go on a walk/run with her. She works on her memory verses while walking and has appointed me to keep her from making up her own version of the Bible. Carrie has several chapters memorized and after listening to her say her verses, I was inspired to get back into a memorizing routine. 
Last fall I had been working on Proverbs 2:1-6 and decided to pick those up again. I'm also trying to memorize Romans 6, 7 & 8. So far I have Romans 6:1-4 down and am ready to move on to the next couple verses.

In the last couple of months, I had been having a rather lackadaisical attitude any time I read my Bible. I wasn't necessarily very excited about my lack of excitement for God's word and began to pray for a renewed interest and hunger for His word. I have found that memorizing Scripture has greatly increased my excitement for and joy in God's word. 

I was just reviewing my Romans verses and was reminded of some quotes I read the other day in Worldliness by C. J. Mahaney so I decided to look at them too. Romans chapter 6 is talking about how I died with Christ so that I can live a new life. So often when I think of dying to sin I just create a list of all the things I shouldn't do. I really appreciated the perspective that Mahaney took on dying to sin. Here are some of the quotes I like from the book thus far:

"The evil in our desires often lies not in what we want, but in the fact that we want it too much." (David Powlison paraphrase of John Calvin)

"Worldliness... loving the values and pursuits of the world that stand opposed to God." (C.J. Mahaney)

"We must fight worldliness because it dulls our affections for Christ and distracts our attention from Christ. Worldliness is so serious because Christ is so glorious." (C.J. Mahaney)

"Meditate on the cross. Consider the wonders of the Savior who died for sinners and rose victorious over sin and death. Dwell where the cries of Calvary are louder than the clamor of the world." (C.J. Mahaney)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quite Possibly the Funniest Verses

This morning I read what may be the funniest verses in the entire Bible. Here they are:

II Kings 2:23-24 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

I thought it was hilarious that Elisha was called a "baldhead" but perhaps that's because I don't really understand the meaning of such an insult. However, when Carrie and I looked at we discovered that "baldhead" merely means "bald". So it kind of seems like Elisha was just a very sensitive guy. I know this is probably not a very good biblical interpretation but at first and second and third reading of these verses I had a good laugh.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pike's Peak or Bust!

For some time now I have been dreaming of finding a mountain in Indiana. I know this really is quite impossible but yet I still had hope I could find one. There is a burning desire within me to find this Indiana mountain, climb it, come back down, buy a t-shirt, draw a picture of me on top of the mountain in Indiana and proudly wear this t-shirt boasting the feat I have just accomplished. This dream will soon be able to become a reality as a result of a discovery I made today! 
While looking at a map of Indiana to find where the center of the United State's population is located (another great adventure waiting to happen!) I saw these word's: Pike's Peak! And you all thought Pike's Peak was in Colorado! No, no. America's Mountain may be in Colorado, but Pike's Peak is just a little bit southwest of Columbus, Indiana.

Apparently a man named Adrian Miller was planning on moving out to Colorado to take advantage of the 1875 Homestead Act. As he set out west his conestoga wagon declared his intent: "Pike's Peak or Bust"! However, Miller only made it slightly further than Columbus, IN. In an effort to maintain his dignity, he named the hill Pike's Peak and the name settled in.

I am so excited about this new Indiana find and cannot wait to go hike this "mountain" and make my t-shirt! Would anyone like to join me on this tremendous adventure in the Indiana wilderness?

A Natural Wonder of Northern Indiana

I have recently been made aware of an erroneous assumption I have been harboring in regard to North America's geographical status. It has always been my belief that there is only one continental divide in North America... until I received enlightenment today! There are in fact four continental divides in North America. The largest and most well-known of the four is the Great Divide. However, as you can see from the map above there are also the Northern, Eastern and St. Lawrence Divides. 

The reason I have taken an interest in the continental divides is because I happened to pass by the North/South Continental Divide while driving through the great state of Indiana on U.S. 31 Bypass. The water on the north side of the divide is carried up by the St. Joseph River into the Great Lakes and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean. Water on the southern side of the divide will be carried by the Kankakee River into the Gulf of Mexico. 

For more information about all four of the continental divides in North America I recommend a visit to this site

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Sewn Creation

For quite some time now I have been thinking about how I should start sewing more often and a couple weeks ago I put those thoughts into action! Before coming up to South Bend I made it my goal to make a skirt. While looking for some fabric I came upon some old dress shirts that Dad had given to me. I thought it would be a fantastically simple idea to make a skirt out of one.

However, as I was explaining my technique to Mom she became disgusted with me and told me to use a pattern. And being the kind mother that she is, she found one that showed how to make a skirt out of a men's shirt. I ended up buying another shirt that didn't have a pocket on it to stick with the pattern Mom found me. After following the pattern, I was able to produce what you see above. I'm quite pleased with my skirt, feel a bit more confident in my sewing abilities and am looking forward to my next sewn creation!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feeding My Obsession

Last summer while in Colorado Springs I visited this delightful coffee house called Agia Sophia. There are many reasons why Agia is delightful such as their location in Old Colorado City, their quaint, peaceful atmosphere and interesting books but what really sparked my love for Agia Sophia was their lavender flavoring. I had never before seen lavender flavoring and thought I ought to try it out. Little did I know that the moment I took the first sip of my iced lavender latte, an obsession with lavender had also been swallowed. 

Since that time I have acquired lavender lotion, incense sticks, tea, an eye pillow, linen spray, soap, bubble bath and a lavender plant! My taste buds have relished the experiences of lavender in water, bread, salad, a smoothie, chocolate and shortbread. Oh, and I got to clean with lavender scented pledge! 

As you can see, I do love lavender. However, I have decided that herbs in general are simply fantastic. Therefore I have decided to start an herb garden. 

Along with an indoor and outdoor lavender plant, I am also now in the business of nurturing the following herbs: chocolate mint, peppermint, oregano, pineapple mint, lemon balm and thai basil. The chocolate mint, lemon balm and of course the lavender have an absolute heavenly scent! I just love my little herb babies!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Searching For A Name

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending some time in one of my favorite stores - Goodwill! I found this wonderful treasure there but am not really sure what it is. Mom thought it could be a writing desk while I suggested it could be a portable coffee table and cane combo! Although mine sounds the most possible I am open to other opinions on this object's life calling. Perhaps there is a bright mind out there that could supply us with occupation of this object or just affirm my speculation. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Cross-Country Peregrination

It's a good thing I only said it was my aspiration to post twice a week and not my promise because I have failed miserably! I'm sorry for neglecting the Salmagundi.

As you all know, I have been traversering around the country this semester. My peregrination came to an end a couple weeks ago on May 8th. The map above and the letters below give a recap of my ventures.

A: Indianapolis, IN - left home on February 4th!
B: Clarksville, TN - had lunch with Howie who I met last summer at camp.
C: Athens, GA - stayed overnight at Natalia's, who I also met at camp.
D: Windermere, FL - stayed with JaMarcus & Rosie from February 5th - March 3rd.
E: Mobile, AL - stayed overnight at America's Best Value.
F: Waxahachie, TX - stayed overnight at the Nealys. 
G: Tucson, AZ - stayed with Uncle Bill from and daily invaded Uncle Dennis, Aunt Susie & Grandma's abode from March 6th - April 30th. 
H: Phoenix, AZ - stayed with Uncle Jim & Auntie Del for a couple days in April.
I: Tucson, AZ
J: San Diego, CA - stopped to visit the coast with Peter and saw some seals.
K: Los Angeles, CA - stayed overnight at Peter's cousin's and went to Six Flags and Chinatown. 
L: Tucson, AZ - left Arizona on April 3oth. 
M: Colorado Springs, CO - stayed with Matt & Sonya from May 1st - 6th. 
N: Fort Collins, CO - stayed over night with Windee, another counselor from camp. 
O: Fort Dodge, IA - ate at Ja-Mar's with Anna, stayed overnight at the Bowsers. 
P: Cedar Falls, IA - had lunch with Lucas and Jordan.
Q: Indianapolis, IN - back home on May 8th!

Some of you may remember a post I made last fall about a revision in my thinking/planning of life. Here's a quick link if you'd like your memory jogged. This semester of travel may not seem to fit into that revised line of thought very well so I thought I'd give the reasoning behind my trip. 

My original plan for this semester was to stay at home in Indy and take classes full-time at Ivy Tech while continuing to babysit part-time. When I could only get into one class I started to think of other options. 

The first idea was an internship down in Florida. Despite Rosie's efforts at networking for me, I wasn't able to find a place to do an internship but I guess Rosie had gotten used to the idea of me coming down for the semester and suggested I just come and work some place. When finding a job seemed a bit pickly, she then suggested I just come down for a month and visit. By this time I had really gotten used to the idea of going down to Florida and thought this sounded like a good plan. 

Then Dad asked me if I would want to go down to Arizona for a month or two to help take care of Grandma. I was a little hesitant at first about this idea because I didn't feel qualified to help take care of Grandma. However, I decided I could figure it out and began planning Arizona into my semester as well. 

After deciding on these two destinations, the question of transportation arose. Flying was mentioned but driving won out because of the convenience and adventure it would provide. And since I was driving, why not add a few more destinations?!

I thoroughly enjoyed each leg of my trip and am quite glad I made this cross-country trek! All the time in the car was great for listening to music and books on tape, prayer and just thinking. I loved seeing new sites and the numerous regions of this country. Thanks, Mom, for letting me borrow your camera so I could capture them all! And without the many great people I got to see and visit, the trip would have been a bit stodgy. Thanks so much to everyone who opened up their home to me and gave me shelter and food and good company! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Stand Corrected

A few posts down I called my favorite Arizona tree with the little yellow fuzz balls a mesquite tree and I must confess that information is incorrect. Upon trying to do a bit of research to discover some of its unique attributes and uses, I could not find a mesquite that had the little fuzz balls. Today Uncle Bill and I sneezed at the brutal 89 degrees and took a visit to the Arizona Desert Museum where I found out that the tree is actually a sweet acacia, which is also part of the legume family. 

Some interesting uses for the tree are headache relief, aid in the healing of wounds, mending broken pottery, treating pink eye, styling hair and soothing sore throats. While researching mesquite trees a few days ago, I found a great recipe to cure headaches at this site. (Scroll down to last paragraph of "Mesquites as Botanical Friends") Perhaps the headache ointment made from sweet acacia is similar. 

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the Desert Museum today:

Century Agave Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
Ocotillo Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
A cactus with a flower - I think it's a Cholla Cactus