Friday, December 31, 2010

goodbye 2010

I like to send out Christmas cards, but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet this year. (I give myself the twelve days of Christmas to get it done :) I think the problem is that my year wasn't eventful in any sharable way. In fact, it was one of my least favorite years so far. Not bad--I am certainly thankful for many things, but in a really blessed life, it was icky by comparison.

So I'm ready to say goodbye to 2010 and embark on 2011. I have no expectations of a riveting year for next year's letter, but here's at least to a better 2011. And since I finally have wine glasses at my house (a wonderful Christmas present) I think I will drink a toast!

And a happy new year to anyone who stops on by!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

50 thanks

1. forgiveness
2. parents who love me
3. a Dad who will go to Menards for me
4. a Mom who always is ready to answer my cooking phone calls
5. brothers
6. a sister-in-law
7. brothers who use power tools
8. brothers who will spend time making my computer faster
9. nephews
10. a happy, newly-married grandmother
11. a church family
12. friends who don't mind me dropping in
13. Saturdays of food and film with JG
14. health
15. prayer
16. a place to call my own
17. a friend who will cut my hair on short notice--and do a fabulous job
18. wealth
19. feast
20. dessert
21. staying in touch via FB
22. a job with potential
23. art
24. new floors
25. Christmas in my family
26. a family reunion to look forward to
27. novels
28. a local coffee shop
29. the smell of muffins baking
30. music--even the stuff I'm embarrassed to say I like
31. gripping television drama
32. lists
33. the color orange
34. basketball with the guys
35. friends who organize volleyball
36. a study of wisdom
37. safety
38. coworkers who commiserate
39. people to push me to be better
40. new learning opportunities
41. spiked hot chocolate
42. new experiences
43. projects
44. a car that runs and is paid off
45. new boots
45. new jeans
46. flexibility
47. potential
48. making up new recipes
49. refrigeration
50. book club

*these are not in order of gratitude :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

practice really does make you better, but not necessarily good

This weekend I once again ventured into the territory of home improvement. I am not good at taping, painting, removing carpet, prying up tack board, removing nails and extraneous materials from trim, cutting underlayment, laying laminate flooring, or renailing trim, but I'm better at it then I was on Thursday.

And yes, I'm sore. But all for a great and great-looking cause.

Oh, and shout out to my brother J. Because of him I did not come into any more contact with power tools than moving them, which is a good thing. And I also was not in charge of measuring, which is good too.

I even managed to snap a few pics of the before and after:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Better in different ways

I tried to better myself yesterday. I attended KitLitCon 2010. I don't actually blog about kit lit very often (who am I kidding, at this point I don't blog very much at all) but I do like kit lit, and more importantly I work in the kit lit biz. And since the convention was nearby, I decided to go. I did learn a lot. But I came up with a few questions too:

*audience? who is the audience? are we speaking to the choir?
*do I want to be a "blogger" or do I blog just for me...and should I then be journalling instead?
*what's with the homogeny in kitlit blogging?
*who has time to follow so many great blogs (and Twitter and Facebook)?

and in completely unrelated news

The Vampire Diaries is better than it has any right to be. My friend Jen told me this; I was skeptical (although I knew it would be good if she said so.) She was absolutely correct about this one. It's based on books that I hear aren't that great. It's on the CW. It's a teen drama. But it is totally gripping and entertaining. Relationships are key, and this show is doing those right. Surprise keeps the plot moving; and this show has no fear. I might be embarrassed to say I was watching this...except it's so good. (Side note: thank goodness they did away with the annoying diary voice overs; but kudos for having a quick shot of the main female character at least writing in hers on disc 3.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

News of the Lonely

My house feels a little lonely tonight, as much as a I love it. I think it is the darkness so early and the fact that I'm too cheap to turn on heat yet...but also maybe I could just use some company.

Just wanted to say that I am now working on house project 3 with 4 in the coming quickly better plan stages. I will post photos...eventually. Let's just say the floors in 1/2 the house look MUCH better--thanks to my bro! Also, for the record, I have officially fixed a toilet for the first time. And ripping up carpet can be tricky.

Sports: Now that the Twins are out :(, go RANGERS!

TV: All the good shows have started again. I'm doing my best to keep up...and sometimes failing. Okay, often failing. But I've managed to keep up with The Good Wife, which has been excellent.

Movie: I watched Lilies of the Field this week (in two parts.) It was a very interesting movie. I didn't know anything about it other than that Sidney Poitier was in it. All I could think was "this movie never would be made today." Also, it has one of my favorite songs in it. Pops into my head all the time whenever I hear or say "Amen." :)

New thing: I'm going to a conference this weekend. I've never been. And I'm sure it will be interesting even though not completely applicable to my daily life. I'm excited to hear some new things. I will have to see how my introverted personality makes it through the experience...I always intend to push outside of the box a little...but I'm never quite as successful in practice as I am in my imagination.

New thing 2: I doing it. Next month. National novel writing month. I'm not sure when I will fit it in, but I'm determined. I have the idea (partially started even); I'm going to try to outline further one of these days and then write, write, write in November.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Patience is a virtue they say...mine is wearing thin. You see, I finally bought a new dishwasher (step 2.5 in home updating) and it is being delivered this morning. But they haven't called yet, and I'm getting very impatient...because I have to go to work and I have many, many things to do there. Ack!

In the meantime, I'm trying to make the best of my 1/2 day off by accomplishing some projects...and then I just decided to update this instead. So here's what I'm inputting these days...

holidays: I came up with a fun idea for a Christmas card...I will show it to you if I manage to pull it off. (This begs the question why do I make it so complicated, right?)

sports: The Twins clinched this week. I can not tell you how obsessed I am, because it would be embarrassing :) I can, however, tell you that I both went to a game this week and am wearing a Twins sweatshirt right now (if that gives you any idea.) I love them all and I can't wait to watch/listen to them keep winning!

TV on DVD: FNL update--I just finished season 2 and it was excellent. I love the evolution some of the characters are taking. It is incredibly realistic. I also just started watching The Vampire Diaries season 1. I started watching it last season, but got too far behind. Now I'm catching up. It may seem cheesy--but it's a very well done dramatic cheesy.

TV: Glee started this week, and sadly that is the only currently airing show I found time to watch this week. The new TV season looks excellent, but I don't have tivo/dvr or the time to keep up. I am hoping to watch Hawaii 5-0 though.

travels: I went to or through South Dakota twice this month. You may ask why I would do that...well, it's all about the people really. The first weekend was for Lifelight south of Sioux Falls. It is an excellent (and free!) Christian music festival: favorite performers of the weekend=Group 1 Crew. I went with a few really good friends and we had a fantastic time. The second weekend was traveling through SD with a few friends to go to a Christian women's retreat in Nebraska. The retreat was excellent and very renewing.

music: The newest disc to catch my fancy: Rebel by Lecrae. This is one of my favorites so far.

books: I read Water for Elephants earlier this month. Very interesting and quick read. Now I'm reading A Concise History of China. It's a little dry and there are lots of names (really hard to keep straight!) but it is really interesting and about a subject that I know very little about. I'm powering through and should be done next week.

Got any recommendations for me? I would love to hear them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

09/02/10--look kinda familiar?

I never would have thought of it, but I'm glad someone pointed it out.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

not recommended

Sometimes I like not knowing. If I pick up a movie I haven't heard of (which doesn't happen all that often), I quickly scan and decide if I'm in the mood for it. This plan, which I usually like because it doesn't give away the movie and keeps me surprised, backfired this weekend. Now I admit picking a movie called The Killer Inside Me should have set off alarm bells. It was well acted (except maybe one person...) but DISTURBING. Watching a few of the special features actually helped me appreciate it a little more since I found out it was based on a 1950s novel; not sure why that made it better, but it did. (Jen, if you read this, Casey would probably love it.)

The other movie, Dare, had some interesting psychological things to say too, but once again, DISTURBING, but in a different way. I'm just a little sick of everyone thinking that every teenager is twisted or has to become twisted or experience twisted to grow up. It reminds me (in the opposite way) of a great Stellar Kart song. (Not sure how this video connects to the song really, but it's funny in a bizarre way.)

Oh, and sometimes being disturbed is okay...but for me, only if the lesson that comes out of it is worth it. In these cases, not so much...

Oh, and I had an "aha" moment today: the main character in any teenage movie never has fun at a kegger. A lesson for us all :) Care to dispute? Let me know what movie and who it was...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Haute stomped nuns FNL

Here's a little sample of what I've been doing and thinking:

--trying a new little restaurant in the Warehouse District, Haute Dish. Great food, classy drinks, nice atmosphere (although a little loud), kinda pricey (but that is the kind of food they have)
--listening to Twins baseball...and after two frustrating and exhilarating games, this one tonight is totally deflating...if you can't define "stomped" in sports terms, check out the stats on this game tomorrow
--nuns...I'm not Catholic, but I caught a fascinating episode of Oprah very early in the morning this last week in which Lisa Ling visited a convent and Oprah talked to a few of the has me thinking a lot about service to God and having I just need to work on the follow through...
--I'm in love with the tv show Friday Night Lights. I love the drama and the characters...that sports drama gets me every time...which led me to think...
--why isn't there a network or cable or HBO show about a minor league team? seriously! I have such an obsession with baseball right now, that I might be skewed, but I see it working either or two ways: 1) coach is the main character and deals with this 20 year old kids trying to make it and having fan girls and arranging housing and dealing with owners and traveling (this option is open to lots of issue episodes) or 2) one or two players take center stage...probably a prodigy and a guy who has had to prove everyone wrong at every step...this option has a stronger opening for teammate relationships and would allow for showing the struggle and excitement of being called up and sent back down...see! I'm right, right?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

So Many Things

Only two days gone of this weekend so far and already so many things...

baseball, Battlestar Galactica, cranberry bread, shorter (lighter!) hair, The A-Team

The best thing though: I bought a completely impractical pair of shoes* that I love. when will I get to wear them?

*They look like this only mine are a flat silver. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I've been in a bit of a funk* recently--a multi-faceted funk (which is my way of saying it is too complicated to explain.) But, for me, funks often spur a greater desire than usual to escape in a good book, movie, TV show, concert, or game...(I don't actually recommend this plan, however, because it rarely clears up the reason for the funk. Avoidance is not really helpful, but it can be entertaining :)

Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett



Valentine's Day
Sweet Land
Leap Year
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
It's Complicated
The Other Man
Post Grad
Public Enemies
The Hangover

TV shows

Lost (see previous post)
The Good Wife
random channel flipping :)


Battlestar Gallactica (I have one disc and one movie left--if only blockbuster had sent them in the right order!)


Glee Live!


I'm currently really obsessed with soduku (which goes hand-in-hand with listening to baseball...)


I watch random videos that people post on FB or tweet about all the time, but this one is definitely worth sharing: (courtesy of NPH) and it kinda connects to the next subject...

baseball (go Twins! Oh, and I got a surprise trip to the game today; even though they lost, it was still fun!)
soccer: I'm a World Cup fan, I admit it...there is something really beautiful about an event that brings together people from all over the world; I love feeling like I'm part of it.

*When I first wrote this I just used this word because it was appropriate. But when I went and reread it, I realized it could be construed as a very clever homage to a much debated (or much maligned?) Glee episode. Just wanted to clear up that I'm not actually that witty, but I wish I were. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost! Lost. Lost?

Well, it's over. And I want to say thank you.
Thank you for giving me plenteous discussion material to bond over.
Thank you for expanding my mind.
Thank you for beautiful scenery.
Thank you for poring your heart into it.
Thank you for doing it on your terms.
Thank you for not being perfect.
Thank you for leaving me wondering.
Thank you for letting faith and love and connection be the end.
Thank you for actually giving it an ending.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Greetings!

Busy weeks are flying by right now...

Easter weekend was dazzling though, so I will fill you in on that and leave out the rest:

Maunday Thursday was church and choir.

Good Friday was church, in which we (the choir) sang a wonderfully fitting song, "He Suffered and Died" by Jay Althouse. Then, I watched a movie. It was, unfittingly, The Hangover. It was better than I thought it would be (and it was only from rave reviews by people I trust that I watched it in the first place.)

Saturday, after some light cleaning, I took my first trip to Target Field with my friend Heidi and her in-laws. I smiled a lot. And looked around a lot. Pretty much I was ecstatic the entire time. Heidi even snapped a picture of her favorite player hitting his first home run in Target Field. (And they won!) My drive home was uneventful (thankfully) and then my brother Jason fixed the latch on my trunk (yay brothers!) This was followed by an evening of food, cards, and The Hurt Locker. First of all, Jason makes an excellent steak. And I'm honored to tell you that he included many fruits and vegetables with the meal. Secondly, I love Little Caesar's crazy bread. I think it is a weird connection to my childhood. Finally, Tony and I won both games of Pfeffer. And, I had a great discussion with Tony about the movie afterward, which was great because it is that type of movie...and Tony is in the military, so he had a great viewpoint to offer.

Sunday included a wonderful Easter service and chats with friends followed by Mom's excellent cooking, last week's episode of Lost, a walk at the local nature preserve, a drive back to my place (while talking on a headset with my aunt for 90 minutes), more cleaning, my side job, and an interesting journey on this website Oh, and this post!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the quick list

What I'm inputting right now...

Fringe, season 1 (on DVD)
Battlestar Galactica, season 3 (on DVD)
Angel, season 5 (on DVD)
Lost (you should hear the way I say this in my head...)
The Good Wife (sometimes)
Castle (most weeks)


The Blind Side
Best in Show

The Late Bloomer's Revolution (Amy Cohen)
Blue Bloods series (Melissa de la Cruz)
Unveiled (Francine Rivers)
Size 10 Is Not Fat/Size 12 Is Not Fat Either/Big Boned (Meg Cabot)
Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)
Great Than (Mark Tabb)
In the Woods (starting soon)

Mute Math
Casting Crowns
Stellar Kart
Barlow Girl
Remedy Drive
Run Kid Run
Family Force Five

Blogs/sites/social networking
Living the Swell Life
Rinse Repeat
Food for My Family
Publishers Weekly
Axe Cop


Life has been a little crazy recently. And thoughts have been flitting through my head pretty quickly...

Sometimes there are people I know are amazing that I wish I could get to know, but I'm sure that won't happen...sometimes they are even related. Being near doesn't mean you are close.

What does "modern morality" mean? (I'm reading The Picture of Dorian Gray right now.)

Anyone who is appreciating the rain right now obviously doesn't have to walk to work. That said, I can't wait for summer...

Baseball. Never used to like it, and now I can't wait for it to start. Here's to many beautiful summer nights to enjoy the games at Target Field!

Money is a pain.

There is no need to move beyond children's and YA literature if you don't want to.

I love entertainment (movies, books, music, TV) but it is possible to make it feel like work.

Brilliant and creative people who blog (and who I've actually met): Bethany, Jess, Shaina, Andrew. Delighted (and slightly intimidated) to be in their company.

Lifestories is a game. Seriously. I played it on Saturday. Life stories really do bring you closer to people.

Wisdom is about the choices you make. I hope some day I attain it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

The day is almost over. The day some random person decided to designate as the one to share love. So, here I am. Sharing love.

Heard this song on the radio today, and I love it.

Here is a pic of a view I love:

And here is a quote about true love:
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. --1 John 4:10-12

And a link to a fun fact about the word love in Greek (which, on a fun note, was mentioned in the last book I read, The Van Alen Legacy).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thankful for Women's Rights

Went to Bible study tonight, at which one of my friends offered up her thanks for women's rights being what they are for our lifetimes. (Amen to that.) This immediately made me think of what I'm reading right now: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. A professor of mine recommended it, and so far I'm really enjoying it. It's crazy and intriguing...and totally different from the books I've been reading, which were...
Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot--enjoyable but took a little bit to get into it; I think Cabot overdoes the unique features for her main character by restating them too often.
Maisie Dobbs (various): The names of the individual books aren't coming to me, but this series by Jacqueline Winspeare has a very unique tone and a strong sense of place and time.
Splitting Harriet and Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh: these are well-written Christian chic lit with a wonderful look at how women of faith live it every day.
I also read Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker about a woman of approximately my age who fights breast cancer and finds herself. I enjoyed it (and found out a few things I didn't know) but sometimes it was too obvious what was going to happen down the road.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Of a different kind...normally I mean on a canvas, but this time I mean my kitchen walls! I bought a place a few months ago, and now for the first time I get to tackle projects like this (and choose my own colors!)

My mom came and helped with the living room over Thanksgiving, but the kitchen I slaved over myself. The color? Jekyll Club Veranda Blue. Sorry about the less-than-stellar pictures. The first picture is the after, the second picture is the before.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christmas 10: Reduce REUSE Recycle

As promised, here are the Christmas "cards." I decided this year to do something different--and to make use of one of the many things I save and say "maybe I'll use that some day."

I printed my message and cut it apart, taped the pieces to a reproduction from a planner from college and cut it apart to make a puzzle. This one is from a planner of Norman Rockwell paintings, but some of the cards I sent out were from a museum in New York and some were flower photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe. I enjoyed picking out which image went to which friend or family member.

Lots of time, but definitely worth it. I hope everyone was entertained!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Christmas Cards Later

I intended to make my next post about my Christmas "cards" this year, but I haven't taken pictures yet (because this is somehow too difficult I guess) so for now...

I've been watching the most bizarre things recently. And when I say watching, I mean listening as I clean or pay bills or something. First there was a PBS special on choral music...who knew Minnesota is considered the premiere place for choral music? Then I caught Morgan Spurlock's documentary on the Simpsons (do you remember when that show was incredibly controversial? Anyway who knows Mr. L knows what I mean.) Oh, and I am quite embarrassed to admit catching about 10 minutes of a truly awful, trashy reality show with a conveyor belt (I'm trying to block that one out.) And I watched the first episode of American Idol, which wouldn't be odd for most people, but it is for me...I've never really gotten into it. I appreciate though that they showed more of the good singers and fewer of the crazies...some days I don't need to be reminded those people are out there.

I'm on season 3 of Battlestar Galactica now; wow, did they speed that thing up or what. The mini-reboot was great. I'll see if I like it now that they are back on Galatica.

Ah, and as a Minnesotan and a sports fan, I'm excited to see what happens with the Vikings this weekend. No, I don't always watch, but I'm always rooting for them anyway even when they are bad (down with naysayers!) unlike this year. And as a double bonus, I get to hang out with my sil T and her son A. Off is E--my guess is he's watching the game with the boys.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Late Nights

I'm a night person living in a daytime world. Or at least working a daytime job. Which means I have this pesky problem of staying up too late during vacations, which is why I'm typing this in the wee hours of the morning.


Keeping me busy these days is the television show Angel, which I'm thoroughly enjoying even though they can't ever let anything go well for more than 1/4 of an episode.

I'm also making my way through Battlestar Galactica. Great show; I hope I remember which disc to get when I go to the video store in the morning.

I also watched The Apartment today, which I thought was a pretty surprising premise for when the movie was made. And it came through my online subscription so I have no idea what possessed me to add it to my cue. It was very watchable though. Jack Lemmon in his younger years--still makes me think of Grumpy Old Men.

Also on the screen today was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. These later books are definitely helped in my mind by greater distance from the books. When I watched movie 5 (I think it was that one...) I couldn't help but compare everything, but this time, since I barely remembered what was happening, I couldn't pick it apart. Good thing! (This also helped New Moon, which I saw a little while ago.)

Also, I discovered an author I like recently: Tamara Leigh writes some great Christian chic lit. And Jen introduced me to Maisie Dobbs awhile ago, and I started up the series again. The series feels very realistic to me, which most of the time is great and sometimes frustrates me because it doesn't have as many happy endings :)

And the project of the moment is Christmas cards...more on that next time.