Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Joy and Sorrow

My life has not been without great sorrow. But my life has also not lacked great joy. My friend Father Banga  said "Goodbye" to us on December 14th. It was sudden... and quick, thankfully. When I think of him, my tears are for myself and all of us who will miss him. But his time was up, his work finished. I am so grateful for the time I had with him. There are so many good memories; I often find myself crying and laughing at the same time. Fr. Banga left this world a better place.

Inspiration comes to me in many forms. Death is swallowed with difficulty but leaves me gasping with determination. Pain wants me huddled in a corner but instead often finds me bloodying my fingers with some task I would not have had the courage to do before. Joy sets my feet to dancing and laughing and creating joy for others. Peace cleanses me and puts me on the right path.

Christmas should be a season of joy. My sister has been a wonderful source of inspiration since she moved in with  us in June but especially in the past two months. As soon as Remembrance Day had passed, she got out all of the Christmas decorations and the house was festive in an hour. She has written numerous cards and letters and has sent care packages to people. She has spent money on gifts and time on creating joy for others. I look at her in awe. I am so blessed to have her as a sister.

Each day finds me loving my husband more. He is the most patient of men. He doesn't understand my hormones or emotions but he loves me. He cares for me, "in sickness and in health." He helps me to understand God. The other day, I had a half hour in between lessons and I went into our room. Jesse was there on his computer. As soon as I opened the door, he frantically cleared his computer screen. "Uhhmmm... just some last minute shopping." Christmas is going to be so much fun. He has no idea what I am giving him for Christmas and I have no idea what he is giving me for Christmas.

My mother-in-law is one of a kind: smart, gentle, very grounded. She is generous, yet stays within her boundaries. She is kind, but honest. She is very intelligent, very talented and generally amazing. Before I got married, I was very afraid I was going to marry someone who had a family I wouldn't get along with. So I prayed for a man who's family was one I could fit into. A family that would accept me and who I could accept. And I prayed especially for a mil who would love me. :-)

My friends, my coworkers, my fil, my sil, my cousins-in-law, Cornerstone Theatre peoples... so many wonderful human beings that fill my life with joy. I wish to be an inspiration to them... to the entire world. Someone who changes the world for better.

Merry Christmas. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

in regards to the End of the world

first of all nothing will happen
and a little later
nothing will happen again.
-- Leonard Cohen

and if it does,

even damnation is poisoned with rainbows.
-- Leonard Cohen

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thankfully

Old companions, Pain and I -- side by side, heads bent, hands tightly clasped; the whole world passing us by. These recent days, our meetings are rare but when we do, we sit in comfort. Secrets that have been hidden away are brought out. Examine; whisper; polish: are we ready to let  the wind whisk this hurt away? Or shall we keep it a little longer?

We are not exclusive, Pain and I; we often beg Mercy and Forgiveness to join our party. They are shy as the Silence. Sometimes it comes; sometimes not. The wait can be long. But when Forgiveness falls like a cleansing rain and Mercy alights on my shoulder, Time stands still.

As we reminisce, the old days seem as though they were but yesterday. Snapshots of moments are branded forever in our time. Pain  would sit on my chest as we listened to the night hours burn away until it was time to get up again. Pain clung to my neck as we survived the day, hurrying, worrying. Pain covered my ears at night when the nightmare came to visit them in the dark. And when they cried, we tried not to listen. Pain held my hand when the Guilts came and they could not have me.

Pain was the best, the most loyal of friends. We dreamed of better days, a different time when the world would fill with Love. But I was not anxious to leave my friend. We had seen the simplicity of All. We had listened to the heartbeat of the Universe. We had glimpsed The Intelligence. Truth had broken our shackles. Fear told me that I would not be the person I am without Pain, in conclusion: Pain was my Savior. I was very confused.

But Time marched on and dictated that our ways should soon part. Love and Joy began to walk with me. They brushed off Doubt and Fear, laughing... Perhaps, at me. They taught me a new dance, showed me the same Truth in a different light. I learned that I could stand without Pain to lean on.

It is true: there are days when I cannot dance. Love and Pain walk on either side then, guiding my feet. But I am growing. I learned that Fear's conclusions are never Truth: my Savior is within me. Pain is a good friend for a time, because we learn much together. But Truth and Time declare good health comes with Change.

I live this life thankfully.

Naomi T. all rights reserved

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

To err is human - and to blame it on a computer is even more so.
Robert Orben 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

glimpses: i love theatre

When we get to the hall, there are already people there. The dim voices and strains of music travel down the stairs and through the entry to our waiting ears. I run up the stairs because I know I only have thirty minutes until show time. Tonight is the last dress rehearsal and it involves full costume: clothing, face, hair, shoes and a right mind. My costume always seems to take longer to install on my person than I assume it will.

There are friends gathered at the front, chattering. Some are practicing certain measures of the music over and over. Some are already in costume. Some are laughing. Some are quiet. Each exudes comfort; we are in the presence of friends, working towards a common goal. It feels homelike. Parents sit in random seats throughout the auditorium, waiting to help their children into costume or put on makeup or comfort them if their shoes seem to have disappeared.

My beaded robe slides over my head easily and my hair goes up with a twist. I ask my mother-in-law where the shoes are. She has such a great closet and we all tend to borrow from her. She points them out and voilĂ !  I am no longer tracking dirty snow everywhere. And my feet sparkle, which admittedly, is far more important.

Two of the girls come up the stairs carrying dishes. "We brought food!" Everyone's ears perk up. A few minutes later, the green room is filled with people laughing and talking with their mouth's full. So many of us come straight from work with no time for eating. Roast beef and buns have never been so relished. One of our musicians is also a teacher of the fiddle and she is endeavoring to teach over the noise of the people. I overhear her say, "Funny how four people make so much noise." She looks annoyed and she is... but she isn't really. One of us will make it up to her later, somehow.

My roast beef is washed down with some water and I am back in the dressing room. I help put makeup on one of the girls and am about to begin another when it is announced that the makeup lady is back. She wants to do me first since my transformation will be intense through the show. She begins by making me smear lotion all over my face. She runs an eyeliner pencil under my eyes. It hurts but I know the end result will be worth it. She's that good.

"2 minutes!" the director announces. My makeup isn't done but the artist assures me that it will be. And she's right. By the time she's done with my face and I have managed to put on my microphone, it's only just time to walk on stage. The over-voice starts to drone... show on. My nerves begin and my adrenaline is sky high.

Last dress rehearsal. Show time is for real tomorrow. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturdays

One of the days in the week that should be reserved for resting. Guess what we did today? Jesse installed our new toilet, which my father-in-law gave to us as an early Christmas present. Btw, we are very happy about that gift. Isn't it amusing what makes you thrilled when you own a house? ;-)

Jesse wasn't entirely sure about installing said toilet because he had never done it before. But I asked... and asked... and he decided that he could probably figure it out. The hardest part was getting the old toilet out. But he did it. I am so proud of him. And happy to have the toilet installed!!

While he was doing that, I spent the entire day baking. Our bosses at work have been planning a Christmas party for a month or so and I was elected to bring some goodies. Ever since I learned of this, I have been plotting and planning. Magazines were pored over; ideas pondered; old recipes from my childhood were tracked down; new recipes snagged. Finally, I had a list. Then, Lydia and I went grocery shopping. Did you know that allspice comes whole (not crushed) in Carlyle? (Thank goodness for my mortar and pestle!)

Thursday, I made pumpkin bread/muffins and banana chocolate chip bread/muffins. Friday night, I made lemon squares and raspberry lemon streusel muffins. Today, I made cranberry almond bark, cranberry walnut rugalach, chocolate vanilla marbled cookies and vanilla cut-out cookies. I made up two separate platters for the party tonight. They're big, beautiful and bursting at the seams.

I have lots of leftovers. I think we will be freezing them for when my siblings come for Christmas. Or for after the play ends on Sunday. Something along those lines. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Good Life


Again, my time is limited. My email, blog and facebook all suffer. But, I am living. Sort of.

Pharmasave, teaching, theatre. Cat, husband, sister. Prepare for Christmas. Still take time to talk and snuggle with husband. Take annoying cat off of head.

Christmas! It’s only over a month away.  After Remembrance Day had passed, Lydia started to decorate the house. This is her first Christmas in over 16 years, so she is very excited. Mr. Fox is very excited too. Anything that dangles or rattles or even remotely hints “Catch me if you can” is in imminent danger of being attacked with great vigor. As Lydia and I put up garland around the house, he was always one step behind us, clawing, biting (not us, thankfully) and being annoying. Lol.

But the house looks very festive in spite of him! Or perhaps, because of him. He loves to climb the Christmas tree. He also thinks that ornaments were made for the sole purpose of honing his “how can I rip this out of the tree” abilities. Yes. We love him.

Last year, I decorated the house by myself. This year, it has been nice having Lydia’s extra hands and inspirations. Having a sister around is like having an extra brain. We've been taking turns wrapping gifts. The pile is growing ever so gradually. By the time December rolls around, we'll only have baking left to do. :-)

Jesse and I have been married 14 months. It is still marvelous, in case you were wondering. We have our small disasters. The other night, we were having salmon. Jesse loves making rice to go with it, so he put on the pot. When I came downstairs from teaching, I smelled something burning. Lydia passed it off as the salmon, so I opened the oven. Nope, no burnt meat. You aren’t supposed to lift the lid on the rice until it is finished cooking, so I didn’t touch it. Then, the smoke alarm went off. Apparently, Jesse had forgotten to turn the rice down. It was so burned. But it was hilarious, especially because of the smoke alarm.

The bad part of this story is about how we couldn’t figure out how to get the rice scrubbed out of the pan. We ended up not using it for about a week before Lydia brought home some cleaner from work. Amazing stuff, btw.

If you ever come over for dinner, you’re going to have to get Jesse to make you salmon and rice. It is truly a divine platter. Also, I believe I am going to get him a rice cooker for Christmas.

 Snow, snow, snow. Yes, we have snow. We got more snow overnight than we received all winter last year. I have to admit that, in spite of the presented challenges, I love how the moisture. The more, the better. After looking at the drought across the south, down to Mexico, one cannot help but be thankful for the white stuff. Here’s to the lakes rising another foot and all the greens of the grass and trees.

There are times I wish I had more hours for writing. But that will come eventually. Life; ‘tis good. The best part is that I am capable. Great joy can be found in this. :-)

Schedules are great things.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trip to the City... Whee!!

Jesse, myself and my sister Lydia are planning a trip to Regina on Sunday night, the 11th. I was wondering if there was anyone in the city who had the space and was willing to put up three people (or two... or one) for a night. If you've already been generous to us previously, please don't feel obligated to put us up. Thanks in advance. :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Courage my friends, it is not too late to make a better world. 
Tommy Douglas

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5th


We are all a little weird and

Life's a little weird,

And when we find someone whose

Weirdness is compatible with ours,

We join up with them and fall in

Mutual weirdness and call it Love.

-- Dr. Seuss

Two years ago today, Jesse told me he loved me. He also asked if we could date. I said yes. 
I thank God for bringing us together... for giving us courage to step into the unknown.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wednesdays & Carrot Pie

Wednesdays are full. Actually, that's an understatement. So are the words 'busy', 'hectic', 'crazy' and 'crammed'.

Wednesdays consist of getting Lydia and myself out the door by 8:30 and to work by 8:45-ish. Therein, we work until 2 pm, go home and teach from 3:30 until 6:30, rush out the door for theatre practice at 7 pm and hope to be home by 10 pm.

Somewhere in that whirlwind of life-on-Wednesdays, we have to find time to eat, drink and use the facilities. It can be hard to remember to breathe, let alone sit down with a plate. I've found that using Ideal Protein meals can make it a little easier (shake, heat and drink), plus they fall into my diet plan. ;-) But even so, I still miss "real" food.

Because I teach until right before we have to go to theatre practice, there is little time for eating before we go... and absolutely no time for making anything. So my mother-in-law has been helping us out. Last week, she brought this amazing greek turkey pizza to the theatre. It was delicious and this is coming from someone who is really picky about what's on her pizza. This week, she sent Jesse a bbm informing him of the existence of pie and pizza at their house. Would he come pick it up? I believe his exact response to this was, "Hurray!"

Sidenote: Dianne makes carrot pie. Pure deliciousness. I never realized how good carrots can be until I tasted her carrot pie.

So, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to help with our busy schedule. I love the family I married. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

life is long enough

We have been touched by death.

It is inevitable; it comes to us all, we can't avoid it.

But we have been given life. We should live it.

Tonight I ate clam chowder, cheese bread and apple cheesecake chimichangas. That's a lot of carbs, so tomorrow, I diet. The day after, I diet. The day after that, I diet. ....

But today, I celebrate my husband's 28th birthday and I shared his birthday meal.

Life is too short to do otherwise.

May the hatred turn to love
   the bitter dissolve into forgiveness
     dreams become reality
        and joy forever carry on

Happy Birthday, my love.

Friday, October 26, 2012

On Adulthood, Responsibilities and Kittens

You may be wondering at the lack of posts. So have I. Each time I open my blog to write, there is nothing in my head to write about. That does not mean that nothing is happening. Everything is happening. Lol. Life kicked into gear and is taking us on what feels like a roller coaster ride. It feels good to work, even if I don't want to get up in the morning. Knowing that I've helped put food on the table or, that extra is being put away for renovations or trips, feels really good. And to have a husband who has the strength and character to maintain a steady job is a real God-send.

Life has been a bit bumpy for us the last couple of months. One thing after another. Bills, bills upon more bills. Not much income coming in for a month or so. God provided for us, though. And, we are happy. We have grown closer together; love being a sweet, sweet thing. I am so thankful.

Among the hiccups have been some amusing moments. For instance: we live on the Whitebear Resort, which is lovely. We have to get our water hauled in. Most of us resort people have big water tanks which are filled by a water hauler once a month, or as often as needed. As you well know, my sister Lydia came to live with us in June. Since then, our water consumption has been more. Which means that our tank empties at a faster rate. However, we never seem to calculate this. The past three months, we've ran out of water. Each time, there has been some reason we can't get water for approximately three days. That's an interesting state of affairs. That means having to use the outhouse or the great outdoors/thick underbrush repeatedly for 72  hours. (Please tell me there aren't any rabid skunks in the neighborhood!) Also, this means we have to run over to Jesse's parents house for water to drink. Thankfully, the previous owners of the house left a nice 7 gallon water container for such emergencies. (Jesse  likes to haul this around full so I can see his muscles pop out.) (I love his muscles.) You may be asking why this situation proves so amusing to me. 5 words: Three months in a row.

We took part in the play put on by Cornerstone Theatre. On Friday, my father-in-law and a friend were trying to bring an elderly patron upstairs via the elevator. It promptly broke, of course, and since there were several other waiting riders, they had to fix it. After they had been gone for awhile, my husband went to see if how the repairs were progressing ... and found them locked in the elevator. Through the glass, they tried to give Jesse instructions. Doug said, "You need to find the emergency key for the elevator..."  At that moment, my father-in-law held up something and remarked, "I think it's in here with us." Doug actually banged his head against the wall. Then he remembered there was a second one... Jesse had them out before five minutes had passed. Lol. They were the tech crew for the play, too. Invaluable to the production. Kinda scary when you think about it. Haha!

Then there's teaching; 17 students. Christmas planning. Jesse's birthday planning. Trying to not get the cold that Lydia is getting over and Jesse is coming down with.


On top of it all is Mr. Fox. 
\
Jesse's cousin discovered a very miserable kitten hanging around their porch last week. She thought it was a she. And she thought she should bring this wee, adorable feline over to my inlaws' place. My mil and sil in turn thought of Lydia, who had mentioned wanting a cat. Long story short, "she" turned into a "he" and his name is "Mr. Fox". He is cute, small, about 6 weeks old, has no horrible diseases and Snow is even starting to like him. ;-)

So, life in all it's wonderful busy-ness... Love it. Hate it. Revel in it. I'm living every day with my love and life is goodness. :-) 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall in White Bear




My sister Cilla.



Cilla is so lovely.


Isn't Lydia beautiful?



Sunday, October 7, 2012

May Your Day Be Full of Pie

When you judge another,
 you do not define them,
 you define yourself as someone who needs to judge. 
--Wayne Dyer

Today I am thankful for people and the world. 
(And awesome quotes shared by the generous people in my wonderful life!!)
Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. Banana Cream Pie and me do not agree.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ode To Food

I have wept many tears this morning. My eyes are dry, my nose is red and my shirt is damp.

 2 onions down.

Chicken pot pie, you'd better be the best chicken pot pie I've ever tasted.

Hello, Beautiful!

There that proudest and most humbling moment in which you realize that your student is so brilliant and motivated, you are compelled to wonder:

 "Why am I teaching this person?"

It is a good moment. It is an eye opening moment. You feel a sense of achievement. Then, an overwhelming flood of emotions: Pride. Happiness. Concern.

How can I be the teacher each these individuals need?

I pray for grace and strength. And I love my job. :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

16 ounces of happiness


"Oh dear, how undignified!"

= 1 lb of joy

1: Sleeping in an hour this morning with my beloved. (Oh happy mistake!)
2: Eating leftover peach cobbler. (The dumplings were soggy... :happy sigh:)
3: Making pastry for apple, lemon meringue and banana cream pies. (Lydia is making and eating the last mentioned because Jesse and I :dances of joy: are adults and don't eat bananas.)
4: Cleaning up our room. (It really needs it.)
5: Sitting at the table, talking with my sister Lydia. (We've nearly covered every topic under the sun.)
6: Anticipating Cilla's visit on Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7: Getting a $65 cheque from Homespun in the mail. (We never win anything and this Homespun found us winning twice: once in Jesse's name and once in mine.)
8: Helping someone print nearly a thousand wedding pictures this morning at Pharmasave. (Yes, I LOVE looking at wedding pictures.)
9: Getting ready for students and teaching and all things music. (Beginning of October, here we come.)
10: Listening to Liszt on the radio and daydreaming about someday...


11: Having running water and electricity in our house. (Makes my day every day.)
12: Kissing my husband goodbye (sad) and knowing we'll see each other again in 9 hours (happy).
13: Having a boss and coworkers who understand. (They are amazing... each and every one of them.)
14: Opening my kitchen cupboards and seeing the dishes my Grandma gave me for my hopechest. (I love you, Grandma.)
15: Buying ingredients for Lasagna. Enough said.
16: Thinking about one's life and realizing how wonderful it is. (Jesse, I love you.)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Things I Love About Being Married

They warn dourly that life doesn't end when you get married. Marriage isn't the end all, be all, they mutter. Just wait and see after a few months and years of marriage, then you'll understand. Wait until the first argument. Wait until you're tired of being married....

We love cynical peoples. Let's face it, we've got at least one in each of our share of relatives. And you know what makes them so hard to disprove? Every word they say has a little bit of truth to it. So, let me rephrase this:

Thank God life didn't end when we got married: I am enjoying myself too much. Thank God marriage isn't the end all, be all: I would shrivel up and die if I stopped being a growing, unique individual. Thank God that after a year of marriage, I can clearly see and rejoice that I did marry the man God prepared me for. Thank God that I realize marriage is not easy: who would have thought any part of life is all ease and grace? And about those arguments... well, read on.

Someone asked the other day, "What Do you Love Best About Being Married." There were many good answers and I decided it would make a good blog post. :-) This isn't me bragging about my wonderful life: I have problems too. But most of the days in my life, I can choose to look at the positive aspects of my existence. For us, this union has been mind blowing and we have never been happier. My goal for this blog post is to send a positive message about marriage into cyberspace.

For those currently unattached: It is possible to find an imperfect person who is perfect for you because you are an imperfect person who will be perfect for someone.Wait. Pray that you will know when the time comes. Until then, be whole as you are.  Be perfect for you, today. Love who you are. Revel in the good you can be in the world. Fling joy into the universe with the discovery of the possibilities of you.

For those Married, happily or not: As you know, there is no 1-2-3 step plan for happiness. Can you be happy? Yes. If you are happy, can you tell me why? If you're not happy, can you tell me why? What is the greatest lesson you have learned through marriage. Are you cynical? Or do you believe in true love? Why?


Things I Love About Being Married


Companionship: never feeling alone. Before I met Jesse, there never seemed to be anyone who "got" me. I have a strange sense of humor, interests and passions, needs and desires. When I met Jesse, I was astonished to find that someone actually laughed at my jokes. I didn't feel awkward around him. He understands. He accepts me and furthermore, he's my best friend.

Being Loved. When I lose my temper, cry, laugh, scold, praise, talk, fail, succeed or any other thing, I can do so without the fear of being judged. Before we met, I was not sure I wanted to enter a relationship. I had seen so many failed or unhappy marriages. I had seen so many people use, hurt or manipulate their spouse. My fear was that I would marry someone and be stuck forever in an unhappy relationship. I have never been loved unconditionally by a human. I knew God loved me unconditionally, but I didn't understand it until I felt Jesse's love. There are moments when I feel my heart burst in joy because this love is boundless, incomprehensible, faithful and everlasting.

I can be myself. This fits with the above category, but I wanted to explain more specifically: I never felt the freedom to be myself completely. It didn't matter that I had friends who appreciated me. The fact of the matter is: I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. Jesse is un-apologetically himself. When we were first friends, I remember a moment when I realized with certainty that it was ok to enjoy movies, books and stories as much as I do. In fact, it was perfectly fine to have a passion for things that I have a passion for. It was more than ok: I needed to embrace these things in myself because I am unique. Unique is the way God created me. Each day, I revel in this. It was a long time in coming.

Learning Every Day. It's ok to be wrong. It's fine to change your mind. It's a good thing to challenge your opinions and beliefs. We learn about each other; we learn about others; we learn about Eternity; we learn about Truth. We learn about sharing the bed, the shower, the kitchen... we learn about giving each other space, we learn about it being ok to go to the other person if we have an issue or simply need a shoulder to cry on. We learn to communicate and share freely. Even as well as we know each other, each day brings a new delight, a new joy. Oh yes, I married an imperfect man who lives his life gently, kindly, respectfully, lovingly. Each day brings new realizations of this. Learning and growth do not happen all at once; if it did, our human minds would expire. So, God allows us to learn as we live: one day at a time.

Understanding GodWhen I met Jesse, I caught a glimpse of God's love. The longer I know him, the more godliness I see in him. He loves me as the Bible says Christ loves the Church. Through this, I see Christ's love so clearly now. Jesse loves me unconditionally, freely, passionately. His heart is always towards me, even (especially?) when I do not "deserve it". There will be times when I am apologizing for some wrong I did him and he will simply hug me and whisper, "You make me so happy," while brushing away my regrets. He sees no reason for me to apologize or feel guilt. This love enables me to step out of my faults and seek truer paths. I have never felt a better understanding of my God, Eternity and Truth.
If only more husbands would love their wives as Christ loves his Bride. If only religion and self interest would not raise their ugly heads. If only people would step away from themselves and seek only better things for others...

When We Are Sick.  There were days when I used to get a cold and I banished myself to a room with a roll of toilet paper, a glass of water and a book... and closed the door. Now, there is Jesse with water, broth, food, hugs and kisses and holding my hand. I almost like being sick. Lol. The same goes for when he's the one under the weather. I hover over him, feed him, make sure he's warm...  It makes those "in sickness and in health" vows really come to life.

Cuddling. Yes, I have discovered that when it comes to us, cuddling is the greatest thing on earth. I never liked cuddling except if it involved a sibling and even then, I preferred having my space. But Jesse seems to have broken most of the rules in my rule book. :-) Now, I cuddle, share a glass, play footsie, flirt outrageously and only God knows what else...

Forgiveness. This could fall into almost any of the other categories, but forgiveness deserves one to itself. As individuals, both of us had to learn about forgiving others. People in both of our lives have hurt us in the past. By the time we had met, we were at a point where each of us realized the need to accept and love others. Yes, regardless of the pains and frustrations they cause us. :-) This love requires forgiveness. Jesse and I are far from perfection. We both have our moments. But even in these, we are able to stop and look at each other. Forgiveness is a proactive. I am thankful the many hard lessons learned before our paths converged. This was no accident.

Deciding What to Make for Supper. Yes, 'tis a difficult decision; not one to be taken lightly. We could have leftovers or I could make something new. We could have soup, burritos, roasted chicken, hamburgers, clam chowder, salmon, pizza... the list goes on. Should we have something sweet to drink or is water just fine? And what about salad and dessert? The amount of responsibility is rather amazing when it comes to meals. But oh-so-fun... How great is it to be able to look in my cupboards and decide what to make? So many endless possibilities! Jesse loves a good cake, so some days I will surprise him by having a cake on the table when he gets home from work.
Here's another thing that amazes me: Jesse loves working in the kitchen. So if I end up working Saturday and he is at home, he'll make food. Good food. His honey mustard salmon recipe is amazing. Oh dear... I'm drooling.

Watching T.V. Together. Nearly every night, we watch shows or movies. The creation of stories is a passion we share. Before we met, we pursued it on our own and now that we are together, the paths converge and we are enjoying ourselves a great deal. :-) A story that is well written can be about anything and we will find enjoyment in it. I was more a fantasy girl but Jesse has introduced me to science fiction... and we both love detective/crime shows. The list of shows and movies we watch is ever growing and ridiculous. Lol. Some of our favorites are: Grimm, Person of Interest, Big Bang Theory, Red, Touch, Once Upon A Time, Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tintin, Sherlock, The New Normal, Star Trek, West Wing... I could be here all day.

Arguing. Finally, we get to it. No, it doesn't happen very often. The first time we had a disagreement, I felt horrible about it. I apologized for days. However, over the course of the past months, we have come to the realization that arguments and differences in opinion are actually good things. They keep our relationship interesting. We still don't like to argue but we are now able to step back and look at the argument and each other from a different perspective. Have you ever met a couple who didn't argue? I have. It usually means that one person in the relationship is very dominate. The dominate person will tell the other person what to do, what to think, what to wear, etc. Usually, it's much easier for the non-dominate person to not think as thinking can be painful. Healthy relationships are based on equality. Both parties must use their ability to think and make decisions. When Jesse and I disagree because we are both strong people with opinions. But what makes these arguments so good is that we're willing to let someone or something prove our opinions wrong. May we never get set in our ways! is our motto. Truth does not allow for minds that won't be changed.

Submission. I hated this word. In fact, there are moments when I still loathe it. People defile it, making it into something ugly and sinful. They demand it, manipulate it, revel in it. I was very leery of relationship for this reason. What I did not realize was how beautiful submission can be. Yes, it does mean giving up one's will. Yet, when submitting to someone you respect and cherish, submission also means retaining your will. I submit to Jesse because I want to. Jesse submits to me because he wants to. We are equals. We do not demand it of each other; we submit freely. We have learned that submission from both is necessary for any healthy relationship. Just as Christ submitted himself to us so that we might have a relationship with him, so must we submit ourselves to him. True, biblical submission involves purity of heart and soul.

Being Involved in Theatre TogetherTaking Walks Together. Holding Hands. Laughing Together. Talking to People Together. Encouraging Each Other. Hating Raisins Together.

Thanking God for Each Other.

This turned into a longer post than I had intended. :-) I am just purely grateful for Jesse and how healing he has been for me. I have grown and changed so much because of him. His heart is mine and mine is his. Our life together has been beyond my wildest dreams. I love who he is. I love who I am.

Take heart. Joy cometh in the morning.

Friday, September 14, 2012

An Experiment

Experience
she may or may not have been right
written by Naomi T. 
all rights reserved

The music books were from her great-grandmother. Approximately, 20 books and pieces of sheet music; some of it was falling to pieces but some of it was still sturdy and looked brand-new. She was the first cousin who had shown a passion for music, so her Grandmother offered her the books. She promised she would take care of them.

The sentimental value made all the books a priceless treasure to her. When she wasn't agonizing over math problems and delighting in grammar, she would sit at the organ and look at the music. When cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming floors beckoned to her, she would reluctantly drag herself away. But not before she would carefully put the books back in the bench and vigorously threaten caution her many younger siblings to never touch. Well, maybe when she was there to oversee the touching.

School was home, church was home and aside from a few outside the close circle, friends and enemies were siblings. The relatives lived 12 hours away so they only saw the grandparents once a year and the cousins almost never. Life was always busy, always full. They weren't supposed to feel lonely, but she was given to thought, always. Sometimes in her secret heart, the music books were a connection to family and to her past. When she touched them, she imagined that she was enveloped by a connection. A connection of what? She wasn't sure, but it was a good feeling.

Such excitement. Close friends were going to spend a day with them, over the weekend. The house and it's inhabitants were swept away in excitement and a whirlwind of activity. Her mother and father would have been so mortified if people saw their home in any other state but spotless. Pies and breads were baked all day, butter was churned and ice-cream was made. Since her father had no regular work, he could stay home all day and wash the outsides of the windows high on the house. Her mother complimented him as he spent hours make sure there were no streaks left.

The visit was fun. They didn't often get visitors and these were especially welcome. A few hours into it, she suddenly remembered her priceless treasure. She simply had to show one of the girls as she was certain this individual would appreciate the value of it. She selected one of her favorite pieces, which she could only play a little and asked the girl if she could play it. Her friend seemed to be taken aback: of course she would never play this type of music. It was not Christian or God honoring; it was bad music.

It was embarrassing. She felt her face get very red and her stomach started aching. Her mother had been listening in on the conversation as well and she could see her embarrassment as well. How could she have been so stupid? Of course, it was an old folk song. She forgot that no one was even sure if classical music was God honoring. She hurriedly put the sheet music away. The rest of the visit went well and as the minutes passed pleasantly, she forgot all about her stomach ache and her face went back to it's regular color.

The visitors left and the house seemed empty. The girl and her family were all laughing and talking in the afterglow. All was well until her mother looked at her in consternation. She had remembered the music incident. She recounted it to the entire family. The stomach ache came back and the girl left the room quietly. The storm would leave sometime but she had no desire to stay until it's conclusion. It was too embarrassing.

She brought one book upstairs with her, to look at. It was a small book of old cowboy songs and the lyrics interested her. She imagined her great-grandmother playing and singing the songs. She played an organ too. But did she sing? What did her voice sound like?

Hours later, she slipped downstairs to play the organ and comfort herself with more music. She opened the bench. And stopped. Only two pieces of sheet music and a book remained. Even as it did, her mind couldn't understand. She shut the bench, turned slowly away and went to the basement. There were three large garbage cans. She opened the first one. Her music. It was ripped and piled recklessly on the rest of the garbage.

She heard a noise. Her father was standing in the doorway.  Maybe he was trying not to smile, but he was. He had been waiting for her. He didn't say anything. Why? she asked. Because it's frivolous and not God honoring, he replied. His smile disappeared. She can't remember what else she said, but it was something about him not having any right. Or something. She remembers being shocked that he hadn't asked before throwing away her property. But I'm your father, he said. I don't have to ask. She remembers wondering if she could send it back to her Grandmother. But as ripped as it was, she hadn't kept her promise. She was so angry that he didn't let her keep her promise. She ran upstairs and upstairs and upstairs... She slammed the door.

Her body hit her bed with a soft thump and she curled into tight ball, ignoring her sisters. She was too mad to cry. For 20 minutes she stayed like this. Then she started thinking. Will I die from this? No. Should I have allowed my emotions to rule me? No. Will they tell Grandma about this? No. Will she ever know? Maybe when I'm older and I am brave enough to tell her. Does dad know best? No, I don't think so. I'm trying to see it but I can't. Will my opinion matter to him? No. Do I have other things I don't want him to throw away? Yes! There are three pieces left. And I have my books. He could make me do anything because he is stronger and he is my father. Thank goodness I brought the one book upstairs with me.

Still laying on the bed, she carefully hid it between the mattress and box spring. Her best course of action, she decided, was to forget her injured heart for the time being. She would go apologize, even though she was still really angry and didn't think he was right. She knew if she didn't, he would take away the rest of the music. So, she went. She was humble. She was quiet. She didn't look him in the eye because she was afraid he would see she wasn't sincere. She was also afraid she would start to cry. She wouldn't cry in front of him.

There were a few things she was truly sorry for. She wished she had more self control. She wished she had asked him calmly about the music and she wished he hadn't heard the door slam. And though thinking was her life, she rather wished she could accept his ruling and not think. Acceptance makes life so much easier. So does not thinking.

He accepted her apology with graciousness fit for a king. I'm glad you came around, he admitted. I was afraid I was going to have to throw away the rest of your books. She shook her head mutely. He patted her on the shoulder and walked away with a spring in his step.

She went to the organ bench, opened it and and took out the remainder of her music. Upstairs in her corner of the room, she sat on her bed and placed them on her bookshelf -- in broad sight. When everyone had forgotten the incident, she would hide it well. But first things first: she didn't want any attention directed towards the non-God honoring book hidden under her mattress. I'm too clever for my own good, she thought. Suddenly she wished that she didn't have to be.

She realized that just to be safe, she would have to be more careful with her things. She would try to not let people see when she liked something. She would pretend to not care about anything that her parents did not care about. She would insulate her feelings. It was safer not to trust anyone. She would fail sometimes. But she had to start somewhere.

 She felt that lonely feeling again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

1 Year



Jesse and Naomi Twietmeyer

September 10th, 2011

it's been a good year

Sunday, September 9, 2012

snAp sHoTs of my LIFE


This blog post belongs to the points in my life which have recently been happening and should be (?) shared with the public via blogger. I love today's social society.

***

Yesterday, Lydia called our mum to wish her a very happy birthday. After these were delivered and received, Mum mentioned that our newly married sister, Hannah Ives, was looking for a play pen to put the baby in while she was working the garden next Spring.
 "Oh," says Lydia. There was a brief silence. Then, "Are they... expecting?"
"You didn't know?" Mum asked.
 "No," replied Lydia.
"We thought you knew!" Mum said.
 "No, we did not," replied Lydia.
"Well, she's due in March sometime," Mum informed.
 I was at work at that point and Lydia wanted to text me but Jesse wouldn't let her because he wanted to see my reaction to the news. (He was also gloating in anticipation about referring to Lydia's and my 3 year old sister, "Aunty Sara.") So when I get home, Lydia waves a notebook in my face that had a big note written in it "Hannah is expecting sometime in March." I flipped, of course. Lydia and I have begun calling each other "Aunty Lydia" and "Aunty Naomi"... and we're wondering what on earth to give her that will be the greatest help. And we're wondering how visits are to be arranged and how to spoil Hannah and baby. Oh such a excitement!
I had wanted to wish Mum a happy birthday as well, so I phoned her and expressed my desire for her to have a lovely birthday. Then, I asked to speak to Marty.
"So," says my sister, "I'm... um... making a cake. Because... um... we all forgot it was Mum's birthday. Except maybe Dad. Anyways, Mum got off the phone with Lydia and said, 'That was Lydia wishing me a happy birthday' and we're all like, 'It's your birthday?!'"
It was a red letter day for communication among the Holter offspring.

***



Insomnia has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. So were night terrors. As I grew older, it seemed to get worse and better, depending on what was happening in my life at the time. When I left home, I slept better than I had in years. But when my husband and I began to share a bed at night, the first months were filled with me screaming frantically and trying to rid myself of whatever or whoever stalked my dreams.  I would wake up sweating and struggling in the blankets, but there was one thing that came to my consciousness very quickly: Jesse. He would hold me close, smooth my hair on my head, whisper in my ear... soon these instances diminished and now, I have them very rarely. It's because of him. I still struggle with sleeplessness. But when insomnia invades those dark hours, what used to be a curse is now a blessing. I lay awake, listening to my lover breathe. He sleeps so soundly, yet he would be awake in a moment if I needed him. I no longer fear the night. Precious are the moments of silence I share in the presence of my beloved.

***

This morning, we slept until past 10 and got up to make a brunch. Since the house was still cold from the night, we opened blinds and curtains to allow the sun's warmth inside. Jesse's cat, Snow, has a decidedly annoying habit of always wanting to be inside and outside, depending, of course, on what side of the door he is on. No sooner have we let him out, he wants back in and vice versa. Lydia seems to enjoy spoiling him by opening the door at his wish but we are not so kind. This morning, however, I opened the door wide, letting the sun into the kitchen while I made potato pancakes. The breeze mixed with the sunlight and the sound of the falling leaves made it a most delightful experience for us humans. Snow, on the other hand, was flabbergasted. Should he be in or out? Should he sit on the doorstep? Should he pace? Or should he sit? What would show his dignity best in this difficult situation? In the end, he sat on the rug just inside the door and glared at the openness until we shut the door.

***

There was a party the other night celebrating numerous birthdays. It was a pot luck affair and I decided we were going to make use of the remnants of the roasted chicken we'd had on Wednesday. At my request, Jesse went to the garden and dug potatoes, carrots and an onion. He was also supposed to find basil and garlic but he couldn't locate them. He even got out his phone and googled what they were supposed to look like. (I love this man.) I was just on my way home from work so when he called me to ask for my assistance, I met him in the garden 7.25 minutes later. There was no garlic; apparently, it had all been harvested. But the basil and oregano were both there and flourishing. There is something remarkable about growing and harvesting fresh herbs. They add such delicate, full bodied flavor to a dish. In this case, I tore the basil leaves up and stripped the oregano from it's stems before adding it to the chopped meat.
Soup is very satisfying on every count. I enjoy all soups, though chicken and turkey are favorites. To make chicken soup, you must have chicken, chicken broth, a variety of vegetables, herbs and creativity. I suppose that is my favorite thing about soup: you can use your imagination. Good soup is an art. When we were eating my soup later that evening, I held a potato aloft on my spoon and announced proudly, "This vegetable was in the ground 3 hours ago."
Lydia snorted, as wise sisters always do and asked me to refrain from bragging. "What?" she calmly said, "Like you weren't raised eating fresh vegetables." True, but it felt good knowing my abilities as a hard working farm girl are still lurking under the surface.

***

There have been some people wondering about my spiritual well being. I appreciate your concern. I need the prayers. My search for Truth goes on and on every moment of each day. I do not claim to be well versed in Truth and Love. In fact, my lack of knowledge both frightens and thrills. I am fearful because I understand only a little of the depths to which I can plunge. God help me. But I am elated by circumstance because I can grow and learn. This is not the end; I can go on. My latest epiphany is that before I can forgive others, I must forgive myself, as God forgives and loves me. Because, guess what?! I hold endless grudges against myself and my past or future actions. I cannot exist this way. Do you ever have trouble forgiving yourself? There is a moment in which we see ourselves through the eyes of Eternity.

***

My piano schedule has filled dramatically. In fact, I am teaching 4 days per week instead of the usual 3. So far, 17 students. Lydia is also teaching (in my kitchen!) so we will be able to compare notes and ideas. I am looking forward to another great year of students. As I've mentioned before, my students broaden my horizons; at times, it is their genius and it is their ignorance combined which allows me to understand music more fully. My free moments are spent studying, scheduling, practicing...

***

Politics: I was raised to ignore them. In actuality, both parties usually annoy me to no end, so I chose to follow the ignorance. But ignorance does not make our world any better. My husband and his family are heavily involved with politics so when I began falling in love with Jesse, I sought to understand what was so interesting about two parties saying, "We're better. They're lying. We'll do this. See what they've done to the economy? You should elect us." The fact of the matter is, politicians talk down to people because people want to be talked down to. There are some free thinking, strong individuals who actually see outside off the box. But many people will vote for THEIR party, regardless of policy (or, the lack thereof). They will quote bold statements which have no basis in Truth because their party's politician said it. They want someone to blame so they blame whoever is in power. There are times we are not worthy of freedom. The most frightening thing? Great evil can be put into power through ignorance. Goodbye, freedom.
In regards to the Obama/Romney election, we were watching "West Wing". In this particular episode, President Bartlett was talking to Josh Lyman about economy, power and broken promises. His words were very timely given present circumstances and I wanted to share them here:

"There was a man named Canute, one of the great Viking kings of the 11th century. He wanted his people to be aware of his limitations, so he led them down to the sea and he commanded the tide to roll out. It didn’t. 
"Who gave us the notion that Presidents can move the economy like a play-toy? That we can do more than talk it up or smooth over the rough spots? It’s a lie. What we really owe that union is the truth." -- (Jed Bartlett) West Wing, Season 5, Episode 19 "Talking Points"

***


September 10th, 2011, we stood in front of an audience and proclaimed our commitment to each other. We had already made an everlasting commitment to each other on November 5th, 2010 but there were many who needed to witness our union. It was the best wedding we have ever attended... not just because it was our own (my goodness, if I could have passed the stress off to someone else...) but because it was a party where all could feel comfortable with who they were. There was good company, good music, good food... and most of all, so much love.
They say the first year is the hardest. I say, if this is so, then I am looking forward to the years to come. We have had our rocky points (like, for instance, Jesse was ignoring me and I wanted attention... so I poured a cup of cold water over his head) and sometimes, one of us will get annoyed at the other. But our friendship has never wavered, nor our respect for the other. There is such freedom to be who we are as individuals, yet someone there to lean on. I never thought I would ever meet such a kindred spirit. Even from the first moment of conversation, we felt a deep connection. I fought it at first because I was frightened; but it only grew stronger and more insistent. I know that God had a hand in this union.

***


Regarding items of varying sizes and importance that float through my life: God, Jesse, Lydia, The Cat. Oh my... I'm going to be an aunt. :-D They have all been duly noted upon. Enjoy, dear readers. May the future be brightest and may Truth be an amazement.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Of Retro Styles & Pretty Things: Shabby Apple

I love vintage styles. I love grace, femininity and charm. Even as a little girl, looking at Sears catalogues, watching  figure skating or drooling over wedding magazines, my interest was always focused on anything that hinted "vintage". 
It was a great joy for me when "Retro" and vintage styles became featured in the pattern books and certain online stores. Imagine my surprise when I entered the local clothing shop this summer and discovered that they ran an entire line of vintage echoes! It was like heaven on earth. 
But not all vintage and retro styles catch my eye. Especially as I grow older, my tastes have become more defined. Actually, I have simply become pickier. Lol. There aren't many clothes that I can buy locally that suit my body or satisfy my eye. I crave simplicity... served with grace and a gentle feminine touch. 

Sometimes, I'm lucky.

Enter the world of Shabby Apple
Feel free to let your eyeballs bug a little and your mouth to drop open. 
The thing I love most about Shabby Apple is their wide variety of styles; you don't have to have one type of body to fit into their clothes. They serve the community of women. 
I also appreciate their simplistic styles and detailed fitting remarks.
Take a look at these dresses.



(If you would like to see more views, follow this link.)



(For more views, follow this link.)

Their shoes were also a delight: many flats. Heels and I tend to end up tangled on the floor.

(Follow this link.)


(Isn't this headband adorable?)




This skirt has a nice high waist, loose flow down the hips and hits around the knee. Pretty! 
For price and sizing: follow this link.

These are just a couple of items that caught my eye while browsing this site. Will I ever become the happy owner of these things? I really don't know because I have a hard time spending money on myself. Lol. :-P But, should the occasion arise and I find myself in possession of such riches, I will definitely let you know all the details about shipping, quality of products, etc.,etc. 

Meanwhile, I shall enjoy my browsing as my days permit and ask: what are your favorite websites for vintage and retro clothing?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Post 500 -- Of Fall & C.S. Lewis

Fall: colorful leaves that crisp under one's feet; wind shaking the trees until they are left barren, sans their clothes; hot apple cider stirred with cinnamon sticks; cloudless skies brimming with startling blue; the moon so bright against the black night sky, one wishes to touch it; fresh squash, corn and potatoes gracing our dinner table; pulling the blankets up to my chin and curling up next to my lover at night, listening to him breathe deeply in sleep; calling students and their mothers in preparation for music lessons; wearing a coat out in the early morning and not zipping it up; worrying about the cat wanting to be out all night (but knowing he would be a pain if you left him in when he wanted out); thanking God for my path and my life.

I may not agree with C.S. Lewis completely but that's a healthy thing, is it not? I do, in fact, find him to be source of wisdom and great thought. I sincerely consider him to be one of the greatest writers in the last century. I hope you will read these quotes, go away and think for awhile. 

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”  

“You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” 

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 

“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” 

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” 

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” 

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” 

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” 


“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” 

“I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.” 

“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning...” 

“What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.” 

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.” 

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Princess

Her golden hair was braided into three parts; I saw them as she twirled in circles for us. I think she was around five, but you never know. Her little face was so eager as she balanced precariously on her toes.

She was about 2 and 3/4 feet tall: her princess dress (complete with Disney characters inscribed on the bodice) was so light that it shivered and danced with her.

"Excuse me," she said in her little girl voice. She already had our attention; Crystal and I had been admiring her dutifully. Her face dimpled shyly. "Have you seen any boys in the store?"

 We looked at each other, then back at her. "Boys?" I repeated, dumbly. I was so taken by her beauty, my mind was already her servant. (How can I be of assistance to you, m'lady?)

She was quite generous towards my ignorance. "Yes!" she lowered her voice, "Have you seen any boys in the store?"

By this point, I was feeling rather puzzled. Humans of that gender and age do indeed frequent the property but I had not seen any for the past 10 minutes or so. "What do you mean? Because --"

Flushing earnestly she interrupted me, "Yes -- I don't want to be stolen."

Grandma (The Queen) seemed to have arrived at that opportune moment, relieving us of our solemn duties to The Princess. As The Queen whisked The Princess away, Crystal and I heard an authoritative voice declaring, "You're not going to get stolen!"

To this The Princess replied, "But you never know..."

I swear that she almost sounded hopeful. Oh to be a Princess.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some pictures From Our Trip; MT










Life!

I've been busy. Really, really busy. I have pictures to prove this busy-ness. Unfortunately, the internet speed does not allow me to post said pictures. So you'll just have to believe without the proof. Hehe.

1: For two weeks, we practiced every other day with Downwind for the Oxbow Jamboree. I feel incredibly fortunate that Dianne asked for backup vocals and percussion. Not only did I get to experience singing with her, Paul, Jesse and Leroy, I got to meet the other band members. FYI, they all turn into superstars when behind their instrument and a microphone.

2: August 5th, 2012. Oxbow Jamboree. It was 32* C. If you don't know what that is in F. go to Google. Judging from the number of people who approached different members of Downwind with positive comments, I'd say we did well. My favorite part of the entire process was how the children came right up to the bottom of the stage and stared at us (in awe!) the entire time. I hope we inspired the next generation of musicians/artists.

3: August 7th and 10th were spent in Alameda at Wildflower Organics processing chickens. We did 100 a day. I got paid in chickens and this truly helps with the food bill. Surprisingly, I discovered that I really enjoyed my days, even if I was up to my elbows in chicken blood, feces, internal goo and feathers. The sunshine, the clouds, the wind... it was so nice to be outside for hours at a time. Plus, it feels so good being responsible and helping feed us.

4: Work, work, work. Yes. Plus I've been trying to clean house when I get home... and be a most attentive wife to my man. I love him so!

5: We celebrated 11 months of marriage yesterday and 2 years of first meeting on August 6th. We are so very happy. I wish I could spread the pure joy we feel around the world. People need it right now... especially in Syria.

6: You know our rhubarb plants that I was so excited about? The one that was red all the way through and incredibly sweet? Well, the neighbor may have accidentally killed it. I get tragically sad whenever I think about it. He offered to give us a new plant if ours didn't survive this. I'm really hoping and praying that it did...

7: I made tie-dye cupcakes last night and frosted them this morning. I love colors. Co-op was selling Neon food coloring so I used that. Such bright, magnificent shades!!

8: Eventually I'll try to post pictures of all of these events. But until then, I have to prepare myself for work (yes, I have to work this Saturday) (but next Saturday, I do not!)... Have a wonderful day. I am pretty sure I will. :-)

9: P.S. Jesse came down with a bad sinus cold yesterday. I hate leaving him when he's sick. (Welll... I hate leaving him at any time..)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Days

We're home... and the internet is ridiculously slow.

Thus, an excuse for the lack of posting. ;-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

2012 Trip -- Hollywood & Universal Studios

This is a hurried post. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

At Universal Studios, we went on The Studio Backlot Tour. 


Flash floods and fake rain.


We saw many sets but I liked this picture of the fake buildings the best. ;-) Western Town! It has been used since the early Westerns. Lots of history!


The plane crash from Tom Cruise's War of the Worlds. 


Apparently, this plane used to fly and was destroyed specifically for this movie. There was a lot of fake smoke, sirens and no fake bodies. (Unfortunately.)


At the Animal Actors show, they presented many trained animals, birds and rodents...


Jesse volunteered for this trick, in which the bird took a one dollar bill from his hand and flew back to it's trainer. (Then the bird gave it back.)


Flying in the wind! (Or above the fan, as the case may be.)


This is an exotic fox. He was beautiful. Where he came from, we cannot remember. (But his trainers know, so all is well.)


Each time an animal went past that "Today's Special" sign, they would change it. For instance, the chickens switched it from "fried chicken" to "ham sandwich", which the pig changed back... 


Frankenstein's Monster and Jesse. Apparently, The Creature took quite a liking to my hubby because he was very insistent about this pose. Lol.


In this picture, Mr. Monster was trying to tie me up but I wouldn't let him. Haha. 
In the background, you can see the entrance to the House of Horrors. Jesse took me into it for a second time just to hear me scream. There's something about creepy guys in spooky masks/costumes leaping out of shadowy corners that makes my knees go weak. 
Needless to say, I always empty my bladder beforehand.


The Jurassic Park ride. We got soaked. Especially me!


Hello, Hollywood.


We like helicopters. Also, a shot of L.A.


Can you tell that I took this one while we were moving? :-) I love these flowers. I've seen them growing domestically and along the roads all along the coastline. Finally, I have a picture!


The hallways of our hotel are decorated in old black and white glamour pictures. The women were so feminine and graceful back then.