Monday, August 22, 2011

Murmers of Blackberries

I noticed yesterday that my flip-flops aren't quite the same color they were when I bought them.  I thought maybe I should get a new pair, but they're holding up fine... besides, there are plenty of people who can't afford to buy new shoes because theirs are slightly discolored, and I, for one, have better things to spend my money on...

Anyways, on Thursday I was hanging out at church waiting for a conference call to start.  I'd just finished my internship, and I wanted to stop by the Bellevue Market for some caramels.  However, my conference call started at the same time as the market, and I had (for some reason) not packed myself any food for the afternoon.  Which, for any of you who have not been around me when I'm hungry, was a very bad idea.

Besides raiding the church fridge (which may or may not have produced any results), and drinking lots of water (which wasn't helping), my only option was to be late to the conference call and buy something from the market... which, unfortunately, also required money.  I didn't really want to be late to my first conference call ever, so I settled for water and being too hungry to think.

I'd noticed a bench a bit away from the parking lot that I thought would be a nice place to sit while on the phone, so I headed over there a few minutes before needing to dial in.

To my surprise, there was a massive blackberry bush right next to the bench.

To my greater surprise, since we haven't really had a summer this summer, there were a lot of big, juicy, ripe blackberries.  Mmm, and I've been craving a blackberry fix.  Leaving for college in the middle of the season really hasn't helped.

In short: when hungry at church with no food, a blackberry bush appeared before me.  The Lord hath provided.

(As I looked back on the incident, I realized that I've been worrying a lot lately about whether I have enough money to pay for food for myself.  Call me crazy, but I think there might have been more meaning to the incident than was apparent at first taste.)

In other news: Amazon seems to think I'd be interested in books about food for some reason.  I wonder if its because I have a waffle maker on my wish list...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Being Committed

I've been meaning to do short blurbs about the books I read for a while, so I'm going to start picking away at them (backwards...)

While on vacation, I was reading Being Committed, by Anna Maxted.  I picked it up while at Half Price Books, because I was bored and wanted to read some summaries... ended up getting it from the library (a wonderful government institution), expecting a cheesy romance novel.

What I found was neither cheesy, nor romance (though, at 300 some odd pages, definitely novel).  Rather, it was a story of a woman delving into her past and exploring the history of her messed up family... with a thread of failed relationships to guide the story.  It was also refreshingly not saucy, in comparison to many of the adult oriented novels I've read (including everything by Jodi Picoult, who I love anyways).

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but I will say that it grabbed me... I had a hard time putting the book down, even when faced with the options of paddleboarding or sitting in a hot tub.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Only a Grandmother

While on vacation, I and the friends I brought along (which you get to do when you're driving to a rented house) cooked dinner.  We had pasta, and decided to spruce up the pasta sauce with some extra ingredients.  We were all too excited about cooking, as we chopped and dumped things in the sauce... garlic! basil! tomatoes! anchovies!


Just after I dropped a couple anchovies into the pot, I remembered... my grandma is severely allergic to all seafood.  Not sure how I forgot that.  Its one of those things that, as a family member, you aren't supposed to forget.

"Its okay" said my friends.  "We can just make separate sauce for her!"

Obviously, that's what we ended up doing, and it turned out that there wouldn't have been enough sauce for all the pasta anyways.  But I didn't want to leave it at that (because it seemed hard to slyly make sure one person would get a special plate...)  So I told my grandma that I'd accidentally put anchovies in the sauce and we were making her an extra pot.

She kissed me on the forehead.  "Haven't been able to do that in a while!"

I thought maybe she hadn't heard me (it happens), so I continued, saying I was sorry and didn't know what I was thinking.

"I'm sorry I can't eat anchovies!"

Okay, I guess I'm forgiven.  But it didn't stop there.  When we started to eat, my dad started to scold me for putting anchovies in the sauce.  My grandma protested, saying that her sauce was delicious and she didn't mind.

And then, a while later, she delivered the best line of the week.  As Alex talked about her boyfriend's leather pants, which smelled like beer and cigarettes...

"Your nose shouldn't bend down that far!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Jubilee Service Day, 2011

A number of years ago, my church decided they needed to find a way to give back to the community.  Since, they have found a number of ways to give back, including an annual service day, helping teachers set up their classrooms and the like.

I participated for the first time last year, but my reaction this time was different.  Yesterday, I just enjoyed it.  Yesterday, I spent basically the whole time trying to organize a lot of stuff into a room with less storage space than the teacher had before.  Which meant getting excited about organization supplies (she really liked hanging files), and the general unpacking things from boxes and putting them away.

I spent the day thinking about how, in two weeks, I'll be doing the same with my dorm room.  This was unbelievably exciting to me, and now I'm looking forward to unpacking, finding just the right place for everything.  And buying some hanging files.

And, of course, only me... I went home after organizing a classroom from 8 to 3, and spent another several hours cleaning my room.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mating Dragonfly, Hissing Otter

Sorry to anyone who tried to reach me in the past week.  I went on vacation.  I thought about posting something on Facebook, but I didn't feel like being specific, and "goodbye everyone" sounded more like a suicide note than a reference to my whereabouts.

My whereabouts....
If you wanted to reach me, I was not dead.  Rather, I was cozied up in a cabin not far from the Canadian border, next to a beautiful lake.  No cell phone service, no internet, no newspaper, no television signal.  Only one person who knew the number for the house, and its doubtful whether she even remembered it.  Seattle could have caught fire and we wouldn't have known anything about it.  It was a glorious week with no plans, only a lake, a couple paddleboards, family, friends, a good book and a hot tub.

Not only was there a lake... it was a glassy lake.

I didn't keep track of time, hardly knew what day it was.  I picked my activities, all 5 of them, based on what I felt like doing and whether the paddleboards were occupied.


I guess the weirdest part is realizing, now that I'm home with my computer in front of me, that I didn't feel bored the whole time I was there.  There was so much more to do when I didn't have anything to do.  Its like, most days, I have too many choices.  When my choices of what to do where few, it was easy to decide what I'd do next.

Don't worry, I didn't try walking on the ice.
It was also amazing how versatile the paddleboards were.  They were great for exploring the wildlife: easy to move around, fit into all the little inlets.  We saw countless mating dragonflies (or, post-mating dragonflies).  And tadpoles.  And small fish.  And mosquitoes.

But the best of all was the last run on the boards, when I saw a flash of motion.  Otters?  We slid in to investigate, and, lo and behold, otters.  One stood on a log and looked at us for a while, before they both scooted into the bushes.  For some reason, we stuck around, trying to see them in their bush hideout.

Finally, we spotted one on a log.  Next thing I knew, I was looking at a huge cluster of otters on a log, hissing at us and jumping into the water towards us.  Seven, maybe, I wasn't counting.  Looking like they wanted to attack...

I never thought otters could be so frightening.

I can't say I never thought ditching my phone and my laptop for a week would be so relaxing.  I wish it was easier to unplug more often...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Seriously, people?

I'm unreasonably frustrated right now, because I tried to string together a bunch of videos I took today at the cat shelter and add music to them... I've been at it about an hour now and no luck.

Funny/depressing story from the shelter today.  This place... well, they care about cats more than people.  I won't fault them for it, its the business they're in.  They want the cats to be in good hands.  This means they have a lot of policies about who can and can't adopt which cats and when.  (No cats are allowed to go outdoors, kittens under 6 months need to be adopted in pairs, people without steady incomes cannot adopt cats, etc.)

When you have a lot of policies like these, you have a lot of people trying to get around them.  A lot of people lying.  Sometimes, through bizarre circumstances, someone gets caught.

Today I hear about a woman who lied to get a single kitten.  Not long after, they discovered what had happened and called her, demanding she bring the cat back.

To their surprise, she did.

When she showed up with the kitten, she was sobbing.  "This always happens to me!" she cried.  "Whenever I lie, I get caught!"
Life just isn't fair, is it?

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Blog of Hell

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

So is this blog.

There's a list of blog post ideas sitting on my dresser that I've probably been compiling for a month now.  None of them have been posted.  (I swear they will be at some point).

Actually, I don't think I've written anything on the list for a couple weeks.  But since then, I've been thinking about things I want to post and then life happens and I can't bring myself to write about whatever.

And life keeps happening, keeps getting by me before I can stop and write anything down.

If I post an adorable kitten picture that you probably haven't already seen (unless you're Tyler and I texted it to you), will you forgive me for neglecting this blog?  What about two?

Okay, this one isn't a kitten but I love her anyways.