Monday, July 28, 2008

Vacation in Indiana

My parents and Alair came for the weekend:) Here are a couple of pictures from the visit.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I was thinking about beauty on my run today. The flowers in my neighborhood are thriving in this hot and humid weather, and to me they are beautiful. Landscapes, sunsets, hands, my family, are all beautiful to me. I enjoy baking and i deem the outcome beautiful. I love to create things and, in a sense, make beauty. i even like putting makeup on my face and enhancing my own beauty. People spend small (and not so small) fortunes on their own beauty. But what happens in other cultures who don't have the same things I do? In Indiana there are a lot of Amish folks and plain is the name of the game. plain looking, plain clothes, plain homes, etc.It's interesting that they have found a way around this "plain" rule and put so much effort in making their gardens beautiful. And I mean BEAUTIFUL. They have some of the most lush (and weed free) gardens and lawns. They also put beauty into their handiwork. Great detail is put into furniture and quilts and anything else they create. They create beauty too...
Other cultures? Tribes in Africa put a reddish bark/root on their skin to make it more reddish. More beautiful. The list goes on. Isn't it interesting that humans love beauty? Love to create beauty? I think it is one more example of just how much we are made in the image of God. He loves beauty, so we love beauty. He has and does create beauty, so we do the same. I'm going to keep chewing on this one.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hot days, hot gyms

it is another hot day in Goshen, Indiana. i'm a gym director for the boys and girls club for the summer so i spend my day in a little office and in a big 'ol outside-air conditioned gym. if you know how i sweat, then i've gained your pity. it gets so hot. to the point that other staff come down and say, "Wow. it's really hot in here!" and then eventually leave me in the gym with 65 hot sweaty and stinky children of various sizes and maturity levels to sneak back upstairs to the air conditioned rest of the club where they adorn themselves in sweatshirts. i, on the other hand, have begun a petition for staff sleeveless shirts and athletic shorts. i've also seriously considered cutting the sleeves off of at least one of my staff shirts...
the rest of the week is supposed to remain in the 90's with "increasing dew points." Thanks Gordy Young. bring it on.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Circle of friends...

I just got back from taking the dogs for a run. Well, I take Dakota and Kenai separately because they're typically on their own agenda and I never quite know how it will go. Anyway, I took Dakota first and by the end, I had the lead looped around my waist, dragging Dakota home. Out of pity, we ended up walking. Then I switched Kenai for Dakota. After the first mile, he settled into a lovely rhythm and we had a great run. It ended up being a beautiful night, cool breeze, sun setting dusk light. And now I'm home to finish laundry and get ready for the week:)

I spoke with 2 friends I haven't spoken to in quite some time here recently. Thursday I talked with Robin (Stennes) Bartel who was my college roomie sophomore and senior year. It was awesome to hear from her. And today I talked with Travis Urbatch, first serious boyfriend! We talked for a really long time and had a great conversation. On my run i was reflecting on it. It is so good to be grateful for a relationship and see it honestly as it was. Dating Travis had a part in bringing me to where and who I am now. Travis and I talked about how being together was fine for the time, but we were in different places emotionally and the relationship had to either take a step forward and more serious, or back and cool off. It felt really cool to be able to look back and see that we chose the right one:)

God brings people into our lives for seasons. It is just awesome when you've been around a little longer and those people cross your path again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Underpants, underwear, panties, underbritches...

So have things ever gotten away from you? You know, like the weeds in the garden, the dishes in the sink, the clean dishes in the dishwasher...the dusting, the laundry, etc? I am going to go ahead and assume yes. Well, the other day I was trying to find a pair of underpants to wear under a pair of shorts that didn't have back pockets, hence, the underwear needed to have no VPL (visible panty lines for those who don't watch What Not To Wear). So I ran the gamut in style and material in my panty repretoire. And then it hit me like a load of bricks. In my efforts to become fiscally responsible (read: not buying clothes) I had worn the same pairs of underpants for going on 2 years. They had all become that same pinkish-greyish-bluish color. Microfiber was pilling. Cotton was now sheer. And seeing as I have an obsession with clean underpants, my entire collection was washed at LEAST once a week, which didn't help color retention. "WHAT IS THIS?! Have I turned into one of those women who just can't throw out underwear, no matter what they look like, because i can wear them...I don't even know....when I'm staining the house?! Oh no! This will NOT be me!" So I went to Kohl's. They had a sale on Discontinued underpant styles. (I find this completely ridiculous. That one would discontinue an underwear style.) Anyway, each pair was 2.99. They were nice. I feel pretty in them. I have regained some feminity. And a few more pairs of my '05-06 collection have been retired....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Reading List

The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They've come up with this list of the top 100 books, using criteria they don't explain, and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these. So, we are encouraged to:

1) Look at the list and bold those we have read.
2) Italicize those we intend to read.
3) Underline the books we LOVE
4) Reprint this list in our own blogs

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath7
7 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery –
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I bet my Aubrey will blow this list out of the water.....

these dreams of mine!

I have been dreaming a lot lately. i am trying to figure out if they actually mean anything--you know hidden desires or anguish, or if they are random ideas and thoughts generated by some place in my brain. Last night I dreamed that I stepped on the scale and it read over 200 pounds. I thought in my dream, "huh. well that is a surprise." I was also dreaming about a certain ex-boyfriend. He has been haunting many of my dreams lately; we are together again, and usually he ends up angry with me or cheating on me. Replaying the past? maybe. But I definitely don't want to keep reliving things I had hopefully moved on from! SO it makes me think. Did I actually receive healing? hmm.....

Meanwhile, yesterday I took both dogs for a run, separately. Dakota was lagging BIG time by the end, but Kenai was fresh as a daisy! And I have never taken him for a run! I am trying to keep my base endurance up for running, so mid-August I can start training for a trail marathon. The dogs run with me when it isn't a really long run, and when it isn't ungodly hot out.

Quote from 1 minute ago:
Vonda: yeah. he's allergic to chocolate.
me: oh really? Riley's allergic to Chocolate? That's too bad.
Riley: oh yeah. it gives me bad diarrhea. so i guess that means i'm 'lergic.