Sunday, June 29, 2008

senseless sleepy

I'm so sleepy.
There are 8th graders, I guess since it's summer they're actually 9th graders, hanging outside screaming and giggling and having a good time.
And so I can't sleep. I'm so grouchy!
But, then, most of you haven't taught 8th graders, and I'm really wishing I could give them detentions. Summer... sheesh. I can't believe I'm still surrounded by them.
At least this year I'll have 16 year olds, whom I've heard are lesser weevils.
By the way, close up, weevils are very cute. They are also called snout beetles (Andy is doing a bug collection this summer, so yeah, you know) and I think their noses are endearing. I'm thinking of embroidering one on a pillow for my stepmom. She's having a weevil problem and this past weekend she and my dad were arguing about whether they had gotten into their cornbread mix. By the way, I've made several different types of cornbread (well, two types really, southern and northern, but different recipes for each) and Jiffy is still the best. And, I learned a trick of using my waffle iron to quickly make cornbread. Not only is the shape more fun, but they get crispy and soft, just as cornbread should be.

I just got this off the Jiffy website, I'll try it tomorrow with some venison chili. My dad brought me almost a whole deer when he visited... and although I'm thankful for free food... that's a lot of venison.

Jalapeno Corn Bread
(12-15 servings)
1 pkg. "JIFFY" Corn Muffin Mix
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
4 jalapeno peppers-cored, seeded and diced
1 small red pepper, diced
4 Tbsp. margarine or butter, diced
Preheat oven to 400°, grease 10" cast iron skillet and preheat in oven. Combine egg yolks, buttermilk and sour cream; mix well. Add muffin mix and diced peppers; mix until moist. Whip egg whites to stiff peak and fold them and butter pieces into batter. Pour mixture into heated skillet. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Show and Tell

I'm so irritated about my last post that I decided to take a break from all of my theology (I've been thinking about it nonstop for three days) and post some pics.
My first guitar is a bass that Andy bought me when we were dating. I loved learning it, and I enjoy playing, but I don't normally get asked to because practically everyone can play the bass. It looks black, but it's actually a dark sparkly brown. I saw it at Mars one day and loved it, and it was on sale, and since you know how much Andy and I love things on sale, he went back for it later and bought it for me -- I think 6 years ago, maybe longer.

My second guitar has a lot of sentimental value. I love my dad and used to watch him play his guitar (A D45 until it was stolen, I forgot what he has now, but it's almost as nice as the 45) when I was very little. I can remember several occasions, but for some reason I never thought of playing myself. Then I married Andy, who taught me to play, and my dad was so glad that I was learning, that he bought me this baby Taylor for my birthday -- I think that was 3 years ago.

Then, this year for Christmas my uncle Mark MADE me a guitar. Yes, he made this! The electronics and everything! Can you believe it? Look at that inlay!
The funny thing about me getting this guitar is that Andy broke his acousic guitar (and we had just sold his bright blue bass) by dropping it on its neck, so the main player in our family, Andy, didn't have a single guitar and I had three. The same day uncle Mark gave me this guitar, I was planning on giving Andy his Christmas present, which was a beautiful Martin, so it worked out in the end -- but I milked it for all it was worth, saying, "Oh Andy, I'm so sorry you still don't have a guitar..." So, of course, he was giddy, in an Andy sort of way, when he got his guitar later that afternoon.

the irrationality of Christianity

Andy listened to this radio broadcast yesterday that reminded me of a lot of what I've heard on contemporary Christian radio stations and it made me upset. He said that two professors from Christian universities were talking about how to "talk about God" to others and the "rationality of Christianity." I think that is disgusting. To suggest that Christianity is in any way rational is a hoax. It is full of mystery, almost nothing is clear, and Jesus teaches in parables, stories, not in a three point essay or thesis. As our friend Doug said, it is revelation not rationalization. Nothing about the gospel makes rational sense. To be powerful by being weak, to invite people who want to kill or hurt you over for dinner... please, it goes against everything within us. That's the whole point. We can't fully grasp it, just as we can't fully grasp God or his ways. And what we do understand must be understood with humility, with the idea that we may very well be wrong or at least, not completely right. And, the gospel is something to be wrestled with, something to have faith in, not something to dissect and be convinced of through a list of facts. AND the fact that these two guys think that the gospel is rational is a round-a-bout way of saying that all those who are not convinced must be stupid. GIVE ME A BREAK!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

surprise, it looks decent

Yes, I finally called momma (which is better than mailing the quilt to her) and she gave me some cheater tips on how to make appliques. So I'll share them with you. Instead of trying the amazingly hard (props to all of you crafters who can do this) under-over method, she told me to go buy some lightweight interfacing and sew the right sides together (the side of the fabric I want to show against the glue side of the interfacing). Then I cut a small slit in the interfacing and flip it inside-out, which makes it where I can see my lovely fabric again. Then you iron and it makes a flat semi-firm disc ready to sew on with almost perfect shape (Andy reminded me that perfect circles don't occur in nature, so my more "organic" ((that's the book's word, Tran, not mine!)) circles were okay) and with much much more ease. TA-DA!
I took a few pics to show you the first step of the quilt. The circles you see here are only the ones I had to attach at the very beginning process -- there will be a lot more.
This is it all laid out on my guest bed.

Here are a couple close-ups of the fabric. A lot of it was scraps that my mom mailed me.

Here's the workspace, my kitchen. The quit is the same size as my table, so it gets a little crowded. And I did sweep when I was finished.

And just for fun here's a pic of Daphne and Wilson, because this is what they look like while I'm working. Wilson wishes I'd give him a treat, and Daphne can't remember the last time she saw her leash.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

my favorite fabrics

While I was posting that pic of the piece of fabric I hope to buy, I thought it might be fun to show you my most favorite fabrics. I tried to pick ones that were very different from one another. The first is a Liberty of London print, one I'll never be able to afford. The second, I own, and am making a kid's quilt with it -- it's a Trefle Japanese fabric. The third and fourth are both FreeSpirit Fabrics, but from different designers. The last one is my next buy for myself, where I'll make a bold quilt empahsizing that beautiful rusty red color.

over my head

One theme of my life:
I try things that are way beyond my skill level, and then when it is hard, I quit.

Ugh. I am trying to make this cute pink baby quilt and things are going all wrong. I didn't think when I started that I didn't know how to applique and that I only have very basic skills in embroidery. And, I tried to get funky with the patterns and instead of sticking to three colors, I have a jumble of shades of pink. It might be hideous. It might, more likely, never be finished. I am frustrated as you may imagine. I thought about mailing it to my mom (an expert quilter), but I really want to be able to give this to my cousin at her baby shower without everyone knowing that my momma helped me.
I was going to make a second version of this same quilt for my friend's baby shower in two weeks. That won't happen now that I see how hard this is, and because it is so expensive! So, I'm going to make an alternate and easier quilt using this fabric (as soon as the month is over and I have money in my budget to buy it, which will mean I may be up all night the night before making it): Do you think green is a strange color for a baby blanket? They had light pink, which I was going to use, but they sold out. They also have orange, which I guess I could pair with red or hot pink, but I don't know if that would be too garish for a baby -- I like it, but what do you think?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

emotion = amt of sleep

So I can't sleep. This is because Andy isn't home and I watched a scary movie.

So I was thinking, since I'm not really tired, that not being tired is strange. Then I remembered that in grad school all I could do is sleep and that during this past year, my first year to teach, I was dead tired by 8:30 and cranky by 9.

So, I must be really happy to be at home and away from 15 year olds.

So, I'm going to ramble until I get sleepy, or find something else to do that won't take me out of the confines of my bedroom.

Sunday I wanted to blog because it was such a crazy day. I started out really happy -- church was good and we went to lunch with the Hamilton's, Aleithia, and James. Then, I was excited because Andy said he'd take me to the new M. Night Shamalan movie, The Happening. I love Shamalan's movies, I really do. The Village and Signs are two of my favorites movies, AFTER Elf of course.
But, I was bitterly disappointed. I complained to Andy about how disappointed I was for two days afterword. All the movie was, was a pointless, absolutely pointless, display of violence -- self mutilation to be exact. It was absolutely awful to watch. Aleithia and I covered our eyes for almost all of the movie. The only good part was the casting, but then, since we couldn't watch them act, it didn't matter who the actor's were.

But at least I still have the Batman movie to be excited about. Though, Andy and I decided that I shouldn't expect much, since it couldn't possibly be as good as Batman Begins, and if it is good I'll be pleasantly surprised, rather than disappointed.

Then, Monday, I had a fantastic day. Truly fantastic. I just did housework all day and spent normal time with Andy. I love having him in the house all day. The Dorsts came over for dinner (see Jonathan Dorst below in the Damage Inc. photos) and it wasn't all that great, but at least it wasn't bad! Sometimes, when people come over my dinners don't turn out very well... And they brought thier two young daughters. Andy showed the girls a magic trick and I think I fell for him all over again. The girls were very loud, but in a funny way, and it was good for us.

Okay, now I'm very sleepy -- so goodnight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

a good busy bee day

Today I went to Angela's with Lesly and had a blast playing with Grace. I adore playing with her and today she was especially affectionate.
Then, I met Mema in Arcadia at the Pop's resturant on Historic Route 66.

She was delivering a car to Guthrie so I got to have lunch with her and Papa.
Then, I came home to try to take a nap (I didn't sleep well last night because Andy figited in his sleep about every 5 minutes)for an hour before I picked up Aleithia.
Then, Aleithia and I headed over to Lesly's to watch a movie with her kids, because Lesly's oldest daughter, Abigail, suggested that I read "The Thief Lord" by Cornelia Funke months ago -- and then she rented the movie. It was a fun, but busy day for me. I'm blessed to have friends. Tomorrow, though, I think I'll hang out with the pups and only venture out if I can convince Andy to take me to see "The Happening."
I'm sorry this isn't an interesting post; I'm sleepy. Zzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

headache morning - a bad excuse to skirt my responsibilities

Don't you just hate mornings when you wake up with a headache?
I think I'm just crabby because yesterday was so beautiful, and I was hoping it would last, but no... today is warm and muggy. Yesterday was cool with a nice breeze!

Oh well. To cure my headache I'm drinking coffee and shopping. I've looked through my new embroidery book and have decided to make my soon-to-be-born cousin, Tayla Lynn, a baby blanket (I know! yet another baby!) so I had to look for cute, but not too bold, pink fabrics. The momma, my cousin Connie, is decorating in the traditional Winnie the Pooh style, so I'll have to make a Pooh Pillow too. It's so exciting!

I haven't started on Max's quilt yet. I've got the fabric, but no ideas on how to make it funky.

Also on shopping... check out, which is where I did my shopping this morning. While making coffee, I realized we were out of beans, so I had to get online to order them (nowhere in Stillwater can you buy both Fair Trade and Shade Grown beans, you can only get one or the other) and I went to the website above to buy them this time. I also like 963 coffee and Cafe Humana because they both give their revenue to the missions field (I'll put links to all three site to the right). But, on Trade As One, you can get other cool items other than coffee. Check out what I got.

It's a big bag (I never used to carry big bags, but for work I need to, and I use them for grocery shopping) made by Guatemalan village women (who are paid a fair wage so they can support themselves) from recycled ikat and recycled embroidered silk blouses.

I also got this, which I've been eye-ing for some time because I don't like my current coasters. These are made by women in the Philippines from recycled newspaper.

off topic...
today's post is going to be long because I'm procrastinating again. Gosh, now I feel guilty so I'd better hurry up.
I'll do reports on my summer reading as I go, but I'll keep it short -- promise.

ABARAT by Clive Barker.
Finished yesterday.
It's interesting to read a fantasy novel written by someone who is completely different than you. In fact, I do it a lot, because almost all the best fantasy authors are strange -- in a different way than I am strange, of course.
This book was fun for me, but I doubt any of you would enjoy it. It was a little grotesque, but even the grotesque pictures (the author did all his own illustrations and man is he a good artist) were creative and interesting to look at. With some I had to flip the page quickly. So -- overall, very creative but I don't recommend it even though I kind of liked it and am going to read the next installation.

Almost finished. It's an amazing book, I'll write on it, because it deserves it's very own post. The only complaint is the title, because it is misleading. I would have titled it something like "returning to the message of Jesus" or "the mysteries of Jesus' message." I'd change it because, with the title as is, it makes it seem like Mclaren is saying he's got a secret that no one else knows, which isn't what he is saying. Anyway, I strongly recommend this book -- in fact, you may get it for Christmas. ;)

OK I better get some chores done. While doing my chores, I'm going to listen to ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

midnight ride

When I was a preteen (or a tweenie as they are now called) I used to ride my bike alone at dusk. Then, when I got a car, I would drive alone with the windows down, sweating in the heavy summer heat (yeah, I know I said I hate being hot, but this is different), sometimes until four or five in the morning. This is, in part, because I never felt like I fit in, and my closest friends had other friends -- so I felt more comfortable alone. Whatever the reason, I now have to find ways to feed my habit of occupying my brain with anything but the norm. I don't drive around at night anymore 1. because Andy would wonder and 2. because it's wasteful 3. because it's expensive. And I kind of miss it.
So, I've been asking Andy for a bike for over a year, and finally, a couple of weeks ago, I got a bike! My friend Tran gave it to me and I love it. It's red and has a lot of gears that I don't know how to use, but I rode it tonight. I'm a little wobbly, but that didn't stop me from going as fast as I could go or picking up a injured box turtle to carry home on the way. While carrying the box turtle, who was continuously scratching me with his left hind leg, a German shepherd chased me until his owner (thank God!) called him back -- and I still kept my balance. woohoo! I make the rocking world go 'round that's for sure.
Anyway, back to the point, there's something very calming about riding your bike in the summer at dusk. The lightening bugs, the people on their porches, the smell of cut grass, the heavy humid air, and the wind in your ears, is all wondrous and lovely. And it makes me happy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

school is over

I've never in my life been more excited for the coming of summer. I hate hot weather. I have to fight from becoming monster-emily whenever it is hot and humid outside. And yet, I'm so very excited.

Whoopee no more Perry. This is sad for me, of course, because I didn't want to leave, but I'm seeing the good in it -- it is a completely fresh start with new students. I can try again to be the teacher I want to be. And I'm upgrading to sophomores and teaching yearbook, which should be a blast. I'm all about electives. I (and friends of mine) prayed that I would only get one job offer, so that I wouldn't have to choose. But we were praying that the choice would be between two other positions that I badly wanted. Both turned me down, with encouragement and complements, but the next day (what's up with God giving me "but the next day"s all the time? that wasn't a complaint, it's just funny) I was offered a position at Wellston. The second interview in a line of interviews this spring. I immediately liked this principal and the school, but I didn't think about it after the possibility of an art job or a charter school job. But anyway, I guess it is where I'm supposed to be -- so I hope I do well.

This is my first week of summer and I've spent it working at Nature Camp where my group, the Awesome Possum Posse, a group of eleven 6-year-olds, are giving me a great week. I just realized that although I'm frustrated with how the camp is organized and although I'm worn out by the tykes, I'm really having a good time. I adore the kids and seriously think about baby-snatching. Just as I used to think with Malee, who first stole my heart, and how I think about Grace now. There's one little girl in particular, Chrissa who blows me away. She ALWAYS needs a drink, but she's incredibly brave and polite. "Miss Emily," she says every five minutes, "may I go get my water bottle out of my cubby?" I love her face. She has almost white hair, a little upturned nose, and dark brown eyes. Yesterday she climbed the highest in this old cedar tree and I asked her to make her way down because, as I told her, she was making me nervous. As she climbed down I positioned myself, while panicking, to catch her when she fell. Well, just as I turned my head, she slips. And I turn to catch her, but I miss and she falls seven feet. Miraculously she didn't hit her fragile body on a lower branch, but landed on a clear patch of dirt. I freaked out internally, but just looked at her to see her reaction so I would know what to do. She picked up her head, looked at me, and said, "Wow, that hurt," then she stood up and said, "let's go catch up with the rest of the group now." I hope to remember that next time I fall or hurt myself.
I could talk a lot about the other kids as well, there are many stories in my head ready to come out, but I'm sleepy and there's still one day left of camp.