Archive for June, 2008

Contest 2008

A prize will be presented to the first person who can accurately guess what this is…

Update: 187 unique hits and only three guesses?!  Okay, people, here it is from another angle…

I’ll take guesses through tomorrow at noon.  

Wondering about that prize?  

Rest assured that it will be a gift card from which you can sip a delicious beverage.  

Mmmm.  Gift cards. 

In Spite of the Weather

We had a great weekend. 

The Olympic Swimming Trials rolled into town this weekend, so we went down to the open house to check it all out.  Gideon loved the pool.  And it didn’t hurt that there was music pumping while they practiced either.  You can check out his pool love here.

Or you can just look at the still pictures.

Afterwards, we walked over to the Art Festival where Gideon painted his first watercolor. This one’s for you Aunt Allison!

As we were leaving, Gideon made one of his ape like grunts toward a group of balloons blowing in the wind, so we got him a red one to take with us.  He only hit Jud in the head once while we were driving home, which I thought was pretty good, all things considered.  

The four faces of Gideon:

He really loves balloons. 

Perhaps a Tornado Would Have Been Nicer

The weekend kicked off with some incredible wind wrapped up in a hail storm that tore the snot out of a lot people’s homes. We, however, were at my parents house and oblivious to the madness that was taking place in the rest of the city.  Instead, we ate Chinese and started to watch a movie that we turned off within the first ten minutes due to graphic content, lameness and the fact that the movie was going nowhere. 

It wasn’t until we were in the car on our way home that we realized how significant the damage was.  Our power was off, as was most of our city’s.  Instead of enduring the darkness, we packed up the fridge and went back over to my parents for the night.  By the next morning, we had power again and we started to hear about our friends’ homes that were not treated as nicely. Lots of people are still without power, but we are hoping that will change soon for them.  

Check out this storm’s damage:

Picture of the Day

The light was just right tonight while he was sitting on the cooler. 

Makes me want to force him to stay just like this forever. 

Name This Top Ten List

10. Sickness in the children – It’s summer and I’m pretty sure there is a decree about children not getting sick right now. 

9. My child’s weight – He’s finally reached the twenty pound mark.  Thanks, Vitamin D milk!

8. Planning things that others don’t want to do – Just wishing that the effort applied would always be applicable to the masses.

7. Recession – It’s officially not a recession right now and even if we are heading there, everybody getting their underwear in a bunch only makes it get there faster. 

6. Saving the earth – I’m sorry, but I’m doing the best I can right now with raising a child.  Someone else is going to need to invent better fuel cell technology. Now I’m going to the pool.

5. Saving Rosenblatt – I didn’t want it to go either, but it’s over.  The stadium is on its way to being a parking lot. Mecca voted.  The city council is done.  Why keep those signs up in your yard?  Just move to NoDo if you still want baseball in your neighborhood.

4. People hurting children in bizzaro ways – Consider yourself on notice, Fox News.  I am not going to click on those teasers about people overdosing their kids on coke or any other perverse thing you can publish to get higher ratings. I am no better for knowing and I don’t think I can take it anymore.

3. Things that can’t be fixed – Do you have the power to change this situation?  I didn’t think so.   Well then let’s stop talking about it because I’m tired of these huge ruts that have formed from spinning my wheels.

2. Gas prices – Yes, it’s more expensive.  No, I am not choosing between mah bay-bee’s medicines and driving to the tractor pull yet. 

1. The weather – Yes, that’s thunder and yes, that’s lightning.  I know it’s storming.  Everyone take a breath.

Weekend in Pictures

I was beginning to think that the weather was deliberately keeping us from enjoying ourselves, until Sunday night, when we finally got to go to a CWS game and enjoy watching UNC lose. 

So officially, two events were rained out – a ball game and an outdoor play, but we did get to play a little guitar, eat fish tacos and go swimming.  Not too shabby.

In other news, we finally confirmed the sighting of this monster. 

 

Fish Taco Recipe

On the stove, throw together some white fish (I used tilapia), shrimp (these are for Jud because he loves them, and I actually just realised this weekend that I don’t really care for them), fresh cilantro, a small amount of oil (I used olive oil, but you can use something more exotic like coconut oil too), chopped onion, chopped red bell pepper and thinly sliced zucchini. Dash a little bit of salt in there and then squeeze fresh lime juice over top and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Portion onto flour tortillas and add your taco condiments.  You can use whatever kind of cheese is your favorite, but I prefer sharp cheddar.  I add sour cream too.  Jud takes the taco all the way down to the salsa, but I prefer to let the fish and lime pop out without tomato tastes to diminish it at all. Gideon prefers no sour cream, but plenty of fish and zucchini in every bite.

I’ve Never Loved [A Machine] Like This Before

So, I’ve had the same vacuum for about eight years or something like that.  My mom bought it for me when I was in my first apartment after the other one I had was officially declared to be ancient.  I’d gone out to buy some new bags for it and low and behold they didn’t make them anymore.  Standing in the aisle at SugerTarget, I swore myself off of vacuum bags forever.

And then I got the bagless one.

It was always dusty and difficult to clean and even though it was okay at sucking up the dirt, I always inhaled the dust like KoolAid whenever I emptied the canister.  Recently, (okay so it was while we were still in Texas), it started getting a funny smell whenever I used it.  I’d have to time out how long it would take for the smell to disapate so that I would leave enough time before people came over to air out the house.  It doesn’t have a belt, so that isn’t the problem. I was emptying out the canister before it was even close to full, so that isn’t what’s wrong.  I’m pretty sure it’s the motor.  And that can mean only one thing. 

Time for a new vacuum. 

But I’m gun shy about buying appliances.  I’ve too often made the wrong choice and kept using the less than desirable thing for decades. What I want to do is take a few vacuums home from the store and use them a couple of times to see how I like them. So, I’d been ignoring the problem by using the attachments on the carpet.  It takes forever and it’s back breaking, but at least the sock fuzz was gone.

And then my parents bought this:

My dad delivered it this morning for it’s test run.  Whoo boy. I don’t really need to try anything else out. I just need to go to Sears and get one. You should get one too. Just trust me.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can always just listen to Amy.

Is The Living Easy

Summer officially begins on Sunday, but we’ve been spending some lazy afternoons at the pool and attempting to not turn on the oven for a little while now. The bright sunshine and the perfectly temperatured days have left me feeling nostalgic for summers past.  When I’m outside and can hear the clink of the metal bats from the sports complex that is near our home, I suddenly want to be down there with a mouth full of seeds and nowhere to be until the fall.  It’s the good kind of longing – for simpler times, for adventure, for the possibilities of things to come. 

I think I’ve mentioned to a few of you recently that this year, 2008, has been the hardest one that I have ever lived through.  There have been so many things that feel as if they are unraveling slowly and so many that have felt as if they have been sliced clean through that I haven’t really known where to start the mending. The struggling and the anguish have not subsided and so it is still much too soon to give a testimony of how all of these things occurred but there was blessing waiting on the other side.  I think we are still very much in the middle of this road of sorrow, but I am hoping that we are at least that far and that the road ahead is shorter than it seems from here. 

This morning, while sitting on the back porch, I turned in my wide margin to the book of Mark and began reading in chapter four. I read through to verse forty where Jesus asks “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” and found a little note I wrote in the summer of 2004.  It said, simply “$236”.  And I remembered. 

Jud and I had been married for a couple of months.  We had plenty of money during those times, so don’t misunderstand me.  I am just rigidly budgeted. If the beginning of the month’s budget allows for a grand in shoes, then I have no problem spending up to a thousand dollars in shoes, but go over that thousand dollars by a few cents, and you can watch my eyeballs start to narrow.  If there is $100 for groceries, then I can do that too and squeeze the life out of those pennies (Aldi! Holla!) but I will berate myself if I use five dollars more than that.  This is who I am.  I blame my father.

So, that summer, having budgeted well and having spent accordingly we were presented with an opportunity to give to something that was important and certainly worthy of money.  We gave $100.  Then there was an unexpected expense.  What it was now, I cannot recall, probably a cell phone bill that exceeded it’s normal bounds by thirty six dollars.  And, unexpectedly, we had to pay for a medical bill out of pocket that we thought would be covered by that ridiculously high premium-ed insurance I had. One hundred more dollars gone that I did not expect to spend. And I was ticked.

Again, it wasn’t the money.  We had plenty of it (seriously, then to now? Ha! We were Scrooge McDuck-ing it in our coin pool!).  It was just that the PLAN wasn’t working.  The thing that had been set out beforehand had been messed up and I cannot suffer things life that, or rather, I chose to not suffer them well.  And I got mad at God. Wasn’t He taking care of us?  Wasn’t He supposed to be worried about the things we eat and the clothes we wear?  Didn’t He care? 

Little by little each day that went by I got a little bit harder and a little bit more angry and a little bit more annoyed with Him until one day when I had reached, what He obviously deemed to be my breaking point.  On that day, a letter came in the mail from a local hospital.  Two or three years before that day, Jud had gone to the hospital for something and he over paid his bill.  He overpaid by two hundred thirty-six dollars on the nose. The exact amount of money about which I had been throwing a cosmic temper tantrum.  And here it was.  God’s care and mercy and protection and love all wrapped up in a small check from a hospital. 

And this morning, I remembered.  Am I still afraid?  Do I still have no faith? Will I suffer this trial well?  Will I endure the sufferingand choose to identify with Christ or will I attempt to opt out?  This class can’t be clepped and I’m sure that I wouldn’t pass the test even if it existed.  So I’ll keep walking through it, with enough grace given each day to get me through. I’m just so glad that it is unmerited favor and that there is no end to it.

And I’m going to sit back and enjoy the moments like this.

It’s Really Not Just a Movie

Inspired by Smitten Kitchen through another blog, I made this for dinner:

Here’s the recipe, just in case you feel some inspiration vibes from here.

On Hype

I’ve always been a dissenter.  You say up. I say down.  You want to eat there.  I want to eat here.  Even if I am squelching the part of me that wants to go against the grain by saying things I never mean like “it doesn’t matter to me” (just so you know, it pretty much ALWAYS matters to me.  I’m difficult like that.  [You should also know that when I say it doesn’t matter, it is me trying to make nice, so don’t think it’s some sort of passive aggressive move to catch you in the wrong.  It’s being done so that I can stretch myself and become some kind of better person. You should relish the words and take a moment to let them really soak into your pores…”Kim is attempting to grow. What a breath of fresh air”…something along those lines]).

I’ve made some strides to not completely buck the system in the past few years.  Take for instance the attempt I made to embrace yellow.  My lovely, beautiful, fashion forward friend, Jenn, instructed us all in the importance of yellow last summer.  “Use it to layer!” “Get at least one good layering piece in yellow!”  She was right of course because yellow was ubiquitous last year and it’s still hanging out nicely in 08, although I think it has for sure been relegated to layering only now (I tried to buy a really awesome cropped yellow jacket that would have been the ‘it’ item of my wardrobe for 2007 but Jud asked me how many fish I’d caught that day and swore that he would never be married to the Gordon’s fisherman).   Is this year white on white?  Is that thing?  Jenn will have to inform us all because not only am I not in the loop, but I’m not even in Dallas anymore, where the trend was impossible to ignore.

Fashion aside, whenever people go crazy for stuff, I just want to take all of their drama and shove it right back down their throats.

Like yesterday, when all of the forecasts were gloom and doom for the evening.  I was all “pish posh these people can keep their crazy predicting and crystal ball antics to themselves. I’ll just wait and see what happens, thankyouverymuch.”  And then, while we had Gideon in the bathtub, every channel left regular programming to tell us about the WEATHER and the ROTATION and the COUPLETS.  We only got him out of bed once last night, but we were up intermittently to keep the water in the sump hole from flooding the basement (gallons and gallons were scooped out of that hole and poured down the drain.  Thanks for nothing imaginary sump pump!). 

 

The weather people kept putting up these ridiculous graphics of tornadoes spinning wherever the red parts and the green parts were parallel.  And I get it.  I understand that those spots are the most likely spots for tornadoes to form.  But IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY ACTUALLY TOUCHED DOWN.  It’s just an indication that the mix is right for it.  So, at one point, having given in to the sheer terror of the forecasters, I actually passed on the information that there were four tornadoes being tracked.  People, that is a lot of tornadoes.  The destruction would have been huge.

Let’s see, now.  In the light of a new day, how much destruction was actually done in those four spots?  Mmmm, none.  That’s right none.  The place where the tornado actually hit wasn’t even really being discussed until after it was hit.  And all of this is not to take away from the tragedy that actually occurred.  It’s just that all this crying wolf makes me so much more skeptical of believing them later. Once again these unpredictable skies prove that God is controlling the wind and the rain.  That He will decide whose life will be demanded of them today.  That He remains the constant. 

I’m not advocating running out onto your front lawn to stare at the ‘nados and scratch your behind while you pray that God protects you.  I believe in taking appropriate precautions.  I wear my seat belt.  I’m just saying let’s all take a breath and stop asking questions like “shouldn’t those Boy Scouts have been evacuated since we knew that bad storms were coming?”  That’s just so totally out of line. If I hear a reporter ask it one more time, I think I might rip my hair out. We live in a place where tornadoes occur.  We don’t stop our lives in the off chance that one might touch down in the very place we were about to go. Soldier on, fellow tornado alley dwellers.  Keep going to your events.  Feel free to stay put in the place where you are if the weather means you shouldn’t go outside for a while. But don’t second guess yourself if you get caught in bad weather while you’re in the midst of life.  And don’t cancel your life in the off chance that something horrible might happen.  Try just living instead. 

In fact, you should probably take up sailing. 

“I sail!  I’m sailing!”