Monday, October 29, 2007

Ode to Grits

I have something terrible to admit... The first time I tasted grits, I thought it was AWFUL.
I was traveling in the south (well, duh!) with the Company, and we were in some strange little dark restaurant and this pile of something white & squishy arrived on my plate. It was NASTY. Runny, but lumpy. Tasteless, yet peppery. Yuck. I never wanted to try it again.

Until lately. My mom just got on this kick of buying Albers grits and making them for her evening snack. (She's diabetic. She's REQUIRED to have some little something before she goes to bed or else her blood sugar drops to around 50 or so. Very bad.) Apparently, she grew up eating them, even though she's from New Mexico. Go figure. I grew up with her cooking for us and I NEVER remember her making us grits.

So, I tasted her grits. And it was good. Huh. What do you know? It had more to do with the cook in that funky little restaurant. It wasn't the actual food item. And I've discovered I like grits with tons of margarine and salt. And I like grits with a little bit of milk and strawberry jam. Isn't that weird. The chick from Alaska/Oregon/California/Washington likes grits.

Ode to Grits
I like grits
Squishy, Deli-shie
Yummy, and creamy
Made of corn
And mixed with salt
Add some milk
Mix it a lot
Scoop it up
Stir it up
Eat it up
I like grits
They're warm in my tum!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Little Mommy

My baby's not a baby anymore!
When I look at her now I realize she's looking like a little girl, not a baby...


Well, my birthday was last Sunday, and it passed rather uneventfully... I'm now 36. Yikes! Old, old, old.

(okay, not really. I don't see calling someone old until they're 70 or 80... Heavens, my dad wasn't 'old' until around 76. The year his older brother died seemed to just crush him. He'd never been 'old' until then. Suddenly, that year he turned old. It was like something in his brain clicked over and said, 'wow, I must be old now." And he seemed to age about 20 years during a 6 month period. Amazing to watch.)

We went as a large family to Chili's and had a grand time there- (there are so few restaurants here that please everyone, plus can handle the rowdy rambunctiousness of my girls.) Went home and had cheese cake and presents all around- My sister gave me a gift card for Barnes & Noble! Yay! While the money is a lovely gift, the card itself guarantees at least 2 solitary hours choosing something in a bookstore! Much as I love my crazy girls, alone time is a precious gift...
And Jake gave me a lovely sapphire necklace. Sweet tender man. And the girls picked out a teddy bear that sings 'when you wish upon a star'...

So, happy birthday to me! Yay!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It's been snowing a LOT this last week. I'm not ready for this! Oh, Well... Ready or not, Winter's here...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I don't know if I can adequately express or explain this... I've tried before and failed.

For five years I had a 'unique' family called the Company.

The Company was a Christian drama group that traveled and performed across the U.S. and occasionally internationally. We ate, lived, practiced, argued, ministered and created together. We stayed up much too late and worked much too hard. We played together, and several of us ended up married to each other.

Last year one of us passed away- Bill Reese, and I was unable to attend his memorial service or the Company family meeting afterwards. (Another reason to HATE living in Alaska- I'm so far away from the world...)

I just received a gallery of photos from that event. I got to see my family reliving our past and remembering Bill. I got to see the faces of our beautiful children and witness a silly attempt at recreating a sketch that at one point we could have recited in our sleep... I got to see how time has aged us and made us richer, made us better.

Sometimes I want to go back and travel with this group again, but I don't want to go back to who I was then... I LOVED the time I spent there. I loved the work we did. In some way, God made me better because of that time- more like Himself. I've always felt like I finally found out why God made me the way I am when I was with Company. I am so thankful for all I learned from this group- spiritually, emotionally, craft-wise...

God, Thank you for these people- for the gift you gave me. I too often take it for granted...

Us way back then- That's me as "the sun"...

Us now: Jon, John, Randy, Leighanne, Ashley, Melissa, Kim, Jenny, Jane...

Silly Survey

My husband made up this silly survey and sent it to me... So I'm posting my answers...

1. If you could spend 24 hours anywhere, anytime (real or fictional) where might it be?
I'd honestly like to meet Jesus, and walk 1 day as one of his followers, see him heal someone, eat with him, listen to him teach...

2. If you were given $50,000 (USD) to use in any way, tax-free, except for outstanding bills/debt, how might you spend it? (Be specific)
I want my own Dodge Durango (that's the car my mom bought with my dad's life insurance money & I LOVE driving it)

3. Briefly describe one of the most pleasing/rewarding moments of your life.
Too many to choose just one-
The standing ovations we'd get for Jesus Christ Superstar...
Using the piece I'd written and directed for Company and watching the audience watch the piece...
Leading worship with Jake...
My wedding and watching my husband sing the song he wrote for me...
Teaching drama classes when it would work...
Holding Deborah for the first time & seeing how beautiful she was...
Holding Abigail when she was only a week old and listening to her hum...

4. List a favorite/special personal posession.
My camera

5. List the name you wish(ed) your parents named you.
Rebecca- I must be weird. I'm the only person I know who's completely happy with her name

6. Briefly describe the last dream you recall that changed the way you think/behave.
I've had this horrible recurring dream of driving off a bridge and trying to choose which one of my daughters to save before we all drown

7. One or one-hundred? One-hundred.
8. Five or Ten? Ten.
9. Seven or thirteen? Seven.
10. Stripes or solids? Solids, although I'm liking stripes, too.
11. Blue or yellow?Blue, but isn't the sun lovely on a clear blue day?
12. Cool or warm?Cool.

13. A restaurant (anywhere) you really like.
Gambardella's in Fairbanks- excellent Italian food, fantastic chicken parmesian

14. An unusual personal trait, habit, peeve, etc.
I have a very hard time putting a book down even if it's HORRIBLE... I've gotten better, though!

15. A language you'd like to speak fluently other than your native tounge.
Spanish! There are so many people I've wanted to be able to speak more clearly with- tutoring reading in Fort Worth and with a couple of students in Seattle.

16. Something you'd like to accomplish in the next ten years.
financial solvency

17. What won't be on your new year's resolution next year.
No more chocolate

18. What are your top five (5) favorite topics of discussion?
plays, spiritual matters, books, movies, worship

19. What's the first thing you would do as President of the United States of America?
make sure every child in the US had health coverage & a good education-
I'm no Hillary Clinton! Don't get me wrong, but there is no excuse in a country as rich as the U.S. is for children to go without necessary medical care. And our education system's got some big problems...

20. 55 or 65 MPH? 65... only 65?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Crabby, Cranky Me

-I have a sore throat.
-It's snowing & something like 30 degrees.
-I'm not getting enough sleep, so I'm tired all the time.
-I feel pressure about getting enough done for our first bazaar next week.
-Jake & I have been at odds since Friday 'cuz he went out and spent his ENTIRE paycheck on a gun. He doesn't get why I'm angry with him. I don't get how he could be so stupid. We didn't have enough money for diapers!

Aaargh. Anyway, I'm crabby, cranky & in a bad/sad/mad mood.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I don’t believe I ever heard my father swear… Ever. I can’t even imagine him saying ‘darn.’ Remember, my dad was born in 1923 and grew up with an entirely different standard of behavior. His swearing avoidance is/was actually something I respected very much. He moved in ‘earthy’ circles- He worked for the Bureau of Land Management which means loggers, foresters and truck drivers; he played sports in local baseball and basketball teams up until the 80’s; he knew a large population of native Alaskans up here as he dealt with the land claims stuff; plus, he pursued an art degree from 1989 until around 2000 and was surrounded by artists and musicians. (side note: every person in my family has drawn and/or painted the nude figure in some kind of art class) Yet, he chose to not be affected by the circle of people he moved in daily.

My mom grew up in a military family- her dad was an army car body mechanic and he was not a Christian. In fact, one of the joys of her life has been the knowledge that her dad accepted Christ within the year that he died from lung cancer. Anyway, she grew up in a very different home- half Christian, half not. My mom has been known to swear. Mind you, ‘darn it’ and ‘damn it’ are pretty much the extent of it, although I have heard her in a moment of extreme frustration say, ‘He is an asshole.’ It sounded funny, too. Swearing isn’t something she’s proud of and she consciously seeks to avoid and eliminate it from her speech.

I lean toward my mom’s swearing habits- the occasional ‘damn it’… Attending seminary for five years definitely affected my speech choices for the better. However, living with my husband for 7 years has overcome almost any growth gained from my seminary years… I’ve recently heard more ‘shit’ coming out of my mouth than during any other time in my life, including college. I don’t like it. I want to have clean language.

My husband swears regularly- ‘fuck’, ‘damn’, ‘shit’, ‘bitch’, ‘bastard’, ‘asshole’ + and any combination thereof is quite likely to come forth from his mouth… His jobs have brought him in contact with an entirely different world than mine, plus he grew up with swearing in his own home. He shocks me quite frequently. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the words that come out of him.

There was no leniency for swearing during my childhood. I remember having my mouth washed out with soap twice- once because my mom thought I said something I didn’t (oh, the injustice! I still get upset over that one!) and once for something I did say, though I can’t remember what it was… I NEVER said anything again that would bring that soap bar anywhere near my mouth. YUCK.

I have to say, in my opinion, a Christian should avoid swearing. I don’t want to say words that I’d be ashamed of saying before the throne of God. Any words I say are said in the presence of Christ since He lives within me. I don’t want to drag him into the presence of filth. And that’s how I grew up- understanding that swearing was filthy.

I’ve been thinking of this more because of my husband- I think that for a while Jake was trying to eliminate swearing from his language, but my impression is that lately he’s given up. Habits are so hard to remove. Sometimes it’s easier to just give up.

I like the saying ‘in, not of’ that’s bandied about in Christian circles… That’s what I want to be- in the world, but not of it. I do respect my husband, but this is something I wish he’d change. Partly because I just don’t like it and partly because his language is rubbing off on me. I’m tending to swear more now than I ever have and I don’t like hearing these words come out of my mouth! The other reason I wish he’d change this habit is because of our girls. They are hearing a lot of language come out of him that is not appropriate or cute out of a 2 or 4 year old. And he’s their role model. When Deborah asked me what 'fuck' meant last week, I really wasn't exactly sure what to tell her...

Oh, well… I’m sorry to be complaining about this- It’s just really bugging me right now.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Our 2007 Bazaar/Show schedule

Here's our schedule as it currently stands:

October 12th & 13th- Holly Days Bazaar on Ft. Wainwright
October 27th- Monroe Bazaar

November 2nd- First Friday at Willowcreek Clothing
November 4th- UWA Bazaar on UAF campus
November 9th-11th- Holiday Marketplace @ Carlson Center- a small section of Willowcreek clothing's area
November 17th-Two River's Bazaar
November 24th- Pioneer Park Bazaar

December 8th- Farmer's Market Bazaar @ West Valley High School
December 15th & 16th- North Pole Bazaar (this one's not confirmed yet, but is very likely)

follow up on "Computer Glitches"

Our friend Valette was here and graciously looked at our computer, fixed some problems and gave us a prescription for computer health.
Thank you, Valette!!!!!!
We miss you!
We love you!
The girls keep asking for you....

It begins...

It's snowing!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sitting here watching the snow fall and practically moaning in sorrow... I'm NOT ready for there to be snow all over the ground- for the snow to be all over the ground until April.... I can't tell for sure, but it sure looks like this snowfall is going to stick.

Autumn leaves

I love to dig in the dirt, plant flowers and watch them grow. My goal is to have a little garden that pretty much comes back on it's own. So, this year I put some money into perennials, those lovely flowers that are supposed to come back. Our family has done this before with mixed success. We planted a bunch of lilies in the garden about 10 years ago and a couple of them are still around. This year when I bought poppies and daisies I asked the nursery lady about how I can protect them from the biting cold of Winter. Her suggestion was to cover my flower bed with hay or leaves. So, for the last week or two I've been diligently raking the front yard to get the bed covered with all the leaves from our birches before the snow comes.
And the girls have been 'helping'... As you can imagine, most of their helping isn't too helpful, but it is fun.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Books I read in September

Ultimate X-Men Vol. 10, 11 & 12 (Issues 50-60 & Annual #1) Has Gambit’s return & death… an intro to Longshot… a very interesting kiss between Storm & Wolverine… some of Storm’s history… Xavier coloring outside the lines… I have to say- I don’t get the whole Ultimate vs. Astonishing X-Men. So they’re re-writing some of their history to bring in… what? New Tech? More stories? Crazier relationships? More 2000 angst? My impression is that they are just going back and making up different stories. I think I prefer the Star Trek way of handling new additions… you’ve got to fill in holes- not just come up with new ways of the same thing happening…

Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1 (Issues 1-6) Cyclops & Emma Frost reform the X-Men… Then a cure for being a mutant causes a riot.

Playboy Prince & Cordina’s Crown Jewel by Nora Roberts B+, D
Yes, every once in a while I succumb to the lure of a romance novel written by Nora Roberts. She’s the only romance author I’ve ever read that wrote real people and not cardboard cutouts. Crown Jewel was excellent, (good characters, interesting relationship, fun situation) but Playboy Prince SUCKED. Sorry for the language. I felt strongly about this- It was a VERY lousy book. Prince starts out with a lie that spins out of control and then the anger and resentment from the lie bursting forth from the two main characters destroy the believability of the ‘romance’ that’s supposed to be developing between them. Yuck. One of those romance novels that gives ‘em a bad name.

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes C
Beth suggested I read this, and like a good sister, I did. It looked like it could be interesting and I like reading YA novels, ‘cuz generally they’re just good literature. This one wasn’t. It was an interesting idea- four friends are given magical powers to defeat a returning evil power… An oldie but a goodie. Anyway, nothing really new here. Barnes tries to maintain a balance between light frivolity and Sidhe evil, but she just doesn’t achieve it. The tone swings wildly between too light and too dark… A disappointment.

Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer A
I’m thoroughly enjoying these… I’m not a ‘fairy’ person- I know people who love fairy books and I just don’t get it, but these are clever & fun. They’re YA with good solid characters, situations, and plots. YA that lives up to it’s potential.

Mr Murder by Dean Koontz B
Not his best. Not his worst. I was ready for it to be over before he was...

Cat People By Michael & Margaret Korda B
Short vignettes about different cats and their people. Not as good as you’d hope, but not horrible. These people are strange about their cats- letting them take over entire rooms and sections of their house… Utterly destroy furniture and attack guests. Is this normal for rich people?? ‘Cuz it’s not normal to me, and I would call myself a ‘cat person’..
My cats have been my pets. Not people. Not babies. Friends, yes. Beloved companions, definitely. My Tiger was the only one I'd share my secrets and sorrows with back in junior high & high school, but she did not run my life...

Forgotten Truth & Lost Truth by Dawn Cook A
The final two in a four part series. Oh, man, these were good! I haven’t been able to find the third one and had to Interlibrary loan it, so it took forever to get it. I was impressed at how everything came together by the end of the book- even things I didn’t realize were important. These are girly books, though so I can see how some guys might not enjoy ‘em.

The Third Eye by Lois Duncan A
Interesting. I read almost all of Duncan’s books back in 7th and 8th grade, and enjoyed them back then. Paranormal stuff, with scarey twists. She’s the one that wrote the book that the movie ‘I know what you did last summer’ was based on. I didn’t see the movie, but I’m quite sure that it wasn’t as good as the book…
This one was good, a mystery that turns out to be really about relationships.

Greywalker by Kat Richardson B
Harper Blaine, PI is in a terrible accident, dies for a couple minutes and comes back able to see into the ‘grey’- the space between here and death. Of course, she immediately runs into huge problems… This was good, and I see a lot of potential for Richardson to become an excellent author of urban fantasy. Right now her writing is kind of choppy and rough, but she’s got good ideas and interesting characters.

Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy A
Loved this! Good urban fantasy. Good characters, strong story. Our main character is Joanne, a police car mechanic who returns from her mom’s funeral only to be sucked into a mythological/magical war involving The Great Hunt. She has to manage her new found powers, save the world and adjust to being a beat cop...