Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ahem. A public service announcement.

nor will they lack bread

I was reading last night before drifting off to sleep.
I felt an urge to read a few chapters in Isaiah.  


As I did, I felt a refreshment of my soul. It was an amazing feeling.  


I started reading in Chapter 50. Here's a snippet of the goodness: 




"Because of your sins you were sold; 
   because of your transgressions your mother was sent away. 
When I came, why was there no one? 
   When I called, why was there no one to answer? 
Was my arm too short to deliver you? 
   Do I lack the strength to rescue you? 
By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, 
   I turn rivers into a desert; 
their fish rot for lack of water 
   and die of thirst. 
 I clothe the heavens with darkness 
   and make sackcloth its covering.”


I felt joyful remembering that no sin is too great for God to forgive. Nothing can get between me and Him. I should never lose the Hope.

Then I read on in Chapter 51:




  “I, even I, am He who comforts you

   Who are you that you fear mere mortals, 
   human beings who are but grass, 
 that you forget the LORD your Maker, 
   who stretches out the heavens 
   and who lays the foundations of the earth, 
that you live in constant terror every day 
   because of the wrath of the oppressor, 
   who is bent on destruction? 
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?" 

  
Fearing man shouldn't even be an option. In comparison with my great infinite awesome God, all else pales. 


"...The cowering prisoners will soon be set free; 

they will not die in their dungeon, 

   nor will they lack bread." 



I was a cowering prisoner, but I am free now. I am a new creation, and I have abundant life filled with His great blessings. 


Because of Him, I have hope, and I know He will provide.  


 "For I am the LORD your God, 
   who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— 
   the LORD Almighty is His name. 
 I have put my words in your mouth 
   and covered you with the shadow of my hand— 
I who set the heavens in place, 
   who laid the foundations of the earth, 
   and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

I am one of His, and He is my great, huge, infinite, omnipotent, loving, and caring God.

This passage was just what my spirit needed. I am so easily ensnared by the minute details of life. I'm a detail-oriented person. I start to worry and fret about my future; the job I'll have, the degree I'll get, the car I'll drive, the impact I'll make... on and on the list can go.

Reading Isaiah 50 and 51, I got a teensy glimpse of God's greatness and power. I got to step back for a moment. It fed my soul. It pushed my refocus button.

How he loves us! It fills me with such giddy joy.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

listing

I do very well with making lists.
Lists are fun, especially if there are check boxes.

If I have a list, I'm productive.
I'm terribly lazy today, so I think I shall go make a list now and get back on the ball, instead of writing a long post.

Greetings Starshine, The Earth Says Hello!

Hello dear reader,

You are indeed dear to me for reading my garbled mess of the English language over spending your time on a more productive endeavor.

I commend you.

I trust you had a happy Christmas!


I did, and I am positively wowed by the love lavished on me in gift form. If ever you want to show me you care, give me something. Wow, that came out wrong.

Gifts are wonderful, but it's the thought behind them that makes gifts especially special.

The thing that has me terribly ecstatic is the gift from my parents. It's a new Nikon digital slr (no wimpy point and shoot for me anymore!)

I have been CAMERA DEPRIVED for the past five months.
I have been bereaved ever since my sony camera DIED. It was DEAD after one year of faithfully taking pictures. My warranty expired and the machine went kaput. It's the sony conspiracy...


It's been a rough few months. I have a webcam, but that is SO not the same.

See, I have this itch, deep down, to capture things in picture form.
I'm terribly addicted.

(I worry that I have a compulsive tendency to easily become addicted to things I love. Coffee, picture-taking, etc...)

Capturing normal things in unique ways feels like a creative project I can handle.

Not that I'm an amazing photographer, but I admit, I love everything about setting up the shot, what with fixing the lighting, the angle, the zoom, the softness of the background... blah blah blah. I'd throw in some techie terms, but I'm afraid of misusing them. I'm not up to that level yet.

I'll soon be a total camera geek, but it's taking time. The last cameras I owned were simple point and shoots. They took good pictures, but my options were limited.

Not anymore.

The other gifts I've gotten have been wonderful. My Mimi knows me so well. She gave me my own four-cup coffee maker. I am LOVING it, and it will get many long years of use, I promise. She also gave me a Monet umbrella. I'm going to learn some umbrella choreography. You know the whole singing in the rain thing? Yes, that will be me.

I don't want this to become a list of gifts I've received, since that may bore you, but allow me to mention a few more things:

My Gram put together albums for each of my sisters (and me) The albums start from birth and go all the way up until now. That was quite a bit of work on her part. I love it.

My cousins gave me a coffee mug. It's PERFECT.
You may have been living under a rock, but just so you know, I love coffee. It's a tervis tumbler, no less, and it has my name inscribed in it.

I could go on and tell you about the cute owl pajamas from my sister, and chocolate/pampering supplies from the other sister...but I'm going to move on.

Before I do move on, let me tell you about my sing-a-ma-jig. It's so fun. Everyone needs one. (don't know what they are? click here to visit their website...hey look, free advertising!)


To top everything off, we had glorious SNOW on Christmas evening!

This weekend has been busier than expected. We traveled quite a bit, and I am so very relieved to be home before life starts back up again.
At noon on Christmas day, we went to the mountian-y area to visit with my Aunt, Uncle, Mimi, and cousins. We hung out until this morning, and then we drove over to my Gram's and Granddad's for another Christmas dinner.

Now we have driven home, and I'm going to go get snuggled under my purple down comforter and rest so I can take pictures and build snowmen tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a beautiful night for a moondance

it really is. It's frigid outside, but it is crisp and clear.

The moon tonight is like a spotlight. The stars seem to twinkle all the brighter.
It's like the heavens knew there was going to be a show. They came prepared.

Ever so slowly, it is happening. The Earth is eclipsing the moon.

This eclipse is supposedly really unique.
Why am I posting on my blog instead of viewing this beautiful sight? Well, I've seen part of it, and someday, if I ever need a conversation topic, I might bring this up.

"Yeah, I saw that really special lunar eclipse that only happens every 400 years or so on the winter solstice.
Well, I saw half of it. The other half I spent sleeping....and there's a good reason..."

and then I'd delve into why I was so sleepy. (A good story)

But that hasn't happened yet. I'm really sleepy, so I shall sleep and worry about this silly blog later.
I had a great post in mind, but it will have to wait. This sleepiness is overwhelming.

I'm so sleepy that I'm afraid I'll forget tonight ever happened. Thus, I'm posting on my blog to remember that I DID see the super special lunar eclipse.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Procrastination: never good.
The malls this weekend are going to be INSANE.

And wouldn't you know it?  I have very little Christmas shopping done.

Am I stressed? No way. I have a back-up plan.

...who wants hemp bracelets?

I kid. There will be nice presents for everyone this Christmas. I so love buying and giving gifts. I've checked my list twice. Everyone is nice. Though that doesn't determine their eligibility for receiving gifts, of course.

So tonight, spur of the moment, I went with my sister and second cousin to see Tangled, the new spin on the classic Rapunzel, by Disney/Pixar. {apologies, it's just Disney}
(As if I needed to add that extra propaganda. Don't make fun, I plan on going into advertising. Tag-lines make the product. Maybe I should have put a little trademark logo in there...hrmm)

Moving on. We went to a small-town theater. It felt so retro-y.
Overall, great experience.


Before the movie, we went to a cozy coffee shop (owned by Denzel Washington's sister-in-law, fun fact!)

You will be so proud. I did not order coffee.
I was a good girl. Ice water for me.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life, etc.

This weekend has been surreal. So much has happened.
Last night, I was pretty much comatose due to sleepiness and benadryl. You know how I am on benadryl...

On Friday, I was invited to see a movie, the new Chronicles of Narnia. I had such fun.
The film was a pretty great adaptation, though I do have a few suggestions for the film-writers, if they are so interested in hearing my input. You never know... haha


On Saturday, before any decent human would normally awake, I awoke for the ACT exam.
Yay standardized testing!
I was entertained by the test instructor. She was a bit on the scatterbrained side, and as she oh-so-slowly and oh-so-sternly read aloud the testing instructions, she got the words "permitted" and "prohibited" mixed up.
It went like this:

"Cell phone use is not prohibited.
Sharing test questions is not prohibited.
The use of tabacco, food, or drink in the testing area is not prohibited.
Speaking during testing time is not prohibited." 


She enunciated the "not prohibited"very well. I wondered if anyone else got it. I didn't ask her if she was serious.

There were other sources of humor; I find ways to entertain myself, even if I have to sit still for five hours.

I'm not supposed to write anything about the essay question, but I will say it was a funny topic. I was quite a hypocrite in my response essay. My daddy was not thrilled at my two-facedness. This is all I shall reveal.



After the insanity of testing, I went out for greek/italian food. Yum. (click to visit the website) <-- this place is so so so so good. My parents have known the owner of the restaurant since before they were married. They went to his old restaurant when they were dating. 
They took me there as a baby. As my sisters and I grew up, we ate there. We even went to his daughter's wedding. 
He's a great guy and a good cook. 


Saturday evening, I went to a wonderful Christmas party. There's nothing like a good Christmas party to make me feel festive.
I met new people. You know how I am around people?
...I'm a homeschooler, okay? Translation: the corner is my favorite place to sit. Preferably facing it and avoiding eye contact with others.

I'm kidding. I love meeting new people.
People are great. Really.
Don't look so skeptical.

I'm an introvert, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-social. What a misconception.
Introvert ≠ anti-social. Not always.

I'm an introvert with extroverted tendencies.
Extrovert ≠ social and outgoing. Not always.

I had a sleepover Saturday night, despite the fact that my friend and I were conked out from the party. It was a real sleep-over. We slept (after watching a rom-com, of course) and went to church.


Anywho, now I am up at my cousins house. You might know them....they are oh so AHH-DORABLE! I've been babysitting today. (My cousins are in the 2-8 year old range. There's 4 of them. They're full of energy.)


Nate (who is 2) refused to take a nap.
He had been in his room "sleeping" for 30 minutes. I checked on him. He was NOT sleeping; he was playing with his toys.
 He was overtired (and boy it showed.)

I asked him to lay down for just 15 minutes, telling him that he was a growing little boy and he needed rest after getting up so early in the morning.

He protested. It was cute. I tried not to laugh.
He was so tired that he could barely stay awake.

He fought to keep his eyes open.

His cries of: "I NOT TIRED. I DON'T LIKE GOING TO SLEEP. I NOT GROWING."

...faded into...

"I AM NOT TIRED. I NOT GROWING. I NOT LIKE GOING TO SLEEP"

...into...

"...I'm not tired. I not growing...I don't like sleeping. I don't like...sleep. I don't like sleep..."

After five minutes of feebly protesting while I rubbed his baby head, he zonked out.

That was a major "YES!" moment.
I felt triumphant. ...I experienced the happiness a parent must feel. The feeling of actually getting a little one to go to sleep.

 That's it for now.

I cooked sausage balls today. For my daddy and uncle. They were good and spicy, if I do say so.
I have outside sources to back me up, too. *wink*

Friday, December 10, 2010

a small reminder of youth

On Wednesday, I participated in a conversation that was most humorous. I was talking with two 9 year old boys (O and B), and another adult.

Adult (to boys) : So, what do you want to be when you are older? A doctor, maybe? 
O: No, not a doctor! That's boring. I'm going to be an agent. 
Me: An agent? ...like a secret agent? 
O: Yeah! With the cool weapons and gadgets. I'll kill people. 
Adult: Kill people? Ugh, that does not sound good at all. I don't think that's a good job...
O: Well, I only kill the bad guys. I'm good at it. 
Adult: I guess that's better. That's still a dangerous job. Your wife will worry all of the time about you when you're on missions. 
O: What? A wife?!? I'm NEVER getting a wife. BLECH. 
Me: Why not? 
O: Because getting married means you have to be around a girl. 
B: Yeah, that is SO GROSS. 
O: You have to say you love her and act like you like her. ewwwww!
B: and then there's kissing on the lips! You have to kiss her on the lips. Groooosssss, gross, gross. I would NEVER do that. I never want a wife.
O: Ewwww, kissing on the lips! Never!

We changed the subject. 




Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Friday, I'm in love

I think I need this t shirt, knowing what a fan I am of 80's pop music...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Frosted windowpanes, greasy hair

Well, it’s almost Christmas!
I think they decided to celebrate Christ’s birth in the dead of winter to counterbalance the bitter cold.

I hate the cold. The festivities make it bearable.
Cold. It’s brutally chapping. It makes me bundle up like a marshmallow. It makes me sleepy.
Winter is not the best time of year.
There is a silver lining. Granted, I love ice skating, skiing, and snowball fights. I love hot coca and toasty fires. I’m glad for my fluffy bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. Winter isn't all bad, I guess.

I’ve been wanting to “re-moisturize” my hair, because the cold is making it dry out like crazy. So, I looked in an “all-natural” book, and they suggested that I use a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice on my scalp.

I did. I mean really, what’s the worst that can happen?

It’s been an experience.

The olive oil is like afro-sheen on steroids.
As for the lemon juice, well, the lemon juice must be in there to restore my hair’s coppery vibrance.
(You know how you can soak pennies in lemon juice and they come out really shiny? I hoped this was the case. My hair is penny-colored.)

So I applied the mixture to my head. It felt good, though a bit slimy. The book said to slather it all over, so I did.
I let it soak in, as instructed.

Then I went to wash my hair.

Problem!

The olive oil refused to come out. The lemon juice made everything smell funky. Like cleaner or something.

Eventually, after washing and washing, I gave up.
At least my hair is not dry in the least.
It’s OILY.
Go figure. Olive oil would make your hair greasy?


My hair is very fine, and doesn’t do well with afro-sheen.


Well, now I look like some grungy beatnik. Or maybe a 90’s rocker wannabe.

EVENTUALLY this stuff will come out, right?
In the meantime, I’ll be wearing a bandanna and double-checking all-natural remedies before trying them.

...I had to be out in public like this.
I had my hair tucked under a beanie (therefore looking like a chemo patient/bald person).
I went into wal-mart.
...I think I blended in nicely.


I also learned to drive stick-shift today, even though I had the distraction of this grunge-hair.


I drove a bit like a communist leader.

I was Stalin. (feel free to slap your knee now.)

...Aha! Mom has a few suggestions for me to try as far as getting the excess grease out of my hair. I'm thrilled.
************
So, if you haven't heard, there have been studies done on facebook users.
Supposedly, people who update their status's frequently are prone to narcissism, while those who check their facebook often are more likely to be insecure.
This makes me laugh. Insecure narcissists?
It's like,
"Hey look at me guys! I'm so amazing. Look at what I did. I'm fabulous...right? guys? Do you agree? Please accept me!"

The truth hits close to home. I do check my facebook when I get online, and I do update my status at least once a day-ish....I've learnt something new about myself.

I didn't know I was such an insecure, yet full of myself person.


...
Today marks exactly one month. One whole month until it happens. I'm on the fence as to whether this is a good or a bad thing.

*****

Thursday, December 02, 2010

concerning hiking

Well, that epic post will come sometime, but in the meantime, I've been mulling over a few thoughts.
They are by no means exemplary, but anyways, here we go.

Memories.

Have you ever heard a song, smelled a scent, or seen an image that triggers a flood of fond reminiscence and emotion?
This has happened to me many times recently; I guess I'm becoming more sentimental with old age (if such a thing is even possible. I don't think I'm supposed to EVER age. My grandparents laugh.)

When I was out running the other day, I took a route that led by a patch of fragrant ferns and evergreen trees. Their smell reminded me of happy summers in Washington. (Boy, do I ever have stories to blog about from that golden place.)

Shall I tell you one? I shall, since I feel nostalgic.
Well, one of the summers, when I was 11, I went on a backpacking trip with my Dad and Uncle Robert. It was in the Olympic National Rainforest.

Here are the trail stats:
Ecosystem Type: Montane forest, subalpine forest, subalpine meadow
General Elevation Trend: Moderate
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation Change: 500 ft. to 3200 ft.




So there you have it. 6.9 miles in and 6.9 miles out. It was long and steep. It was also beautiful. 

We backpacked.
Dad and Uncle Rob had the huge packs full of food and shelter.
I remember in my pack I carried a flashlight, bandana, water bottle, compass, a loud whistle, clothes, and a Guinness World Record book.

Just the basic essentials.
(Oh, I think there was hand sanitizer in there too. Germs are everywhere...)

It was a light bag at the head of the trail, but by the end of the hike, it was the heaviest bag I had ever carried.
I vividly remember the huge trees and ferns feeling like a fairy tale, and I was like a wood nymph. Or an ent. Or maybe an Indian (oops, Native American).

 I remember feeling like the trail would never end {especially when the grade increased} and Dad telling me it wasn't much farther (for about three miles).


After hiking interminably, we made it to the alpine meadow (excuse me. sub-alpine meadow) that was our campsite. We were the only humans for leagues. There were mountains on all sides of the site. It was beautiful.
The site were were at was called "Three Lakes".
We had brought fishing poles.
Where there's water there's fish, right? Well, these "lakes" were actually shallow ponds of crystal clear water.
No fish. 
No matter, there was a back-up plan.
We fried bacon.
Hotdogs were sauteed in the bacon grease.
That meal ranks in my top 15 of all-time.
Food is amazing when you've hiked all day. 
ESPECIALLY that hot bacony goodness.

I explored, and as it got dark, I read aloud from my world record book and drank hot chocolate.
The sky was beautiful that night, and I slept really well.
[aside from a slight fear of a bear attack. Signs were up every now and then warning about bears. We even had a bearwire for our food. I knew a few things about bears:
1)Bears like bacon.
2)Bears like hot dogs.
3)Bears like little girls.]

In the morning, we were all still very much alive. I was exuberant.

The hike back to the trailhead was not so bad.
I felt like a hobo/mountain girl when we reentered civilization. I was happy to see running water.

We stopped somewhere to eat, and I felt pity for the people who stayed in air conditioning and only saw nature on some TV special.
Poor people, you miss out on so much beauty and happiness.




Anyways, I love hiking, and plan on doing it frequently in the future. A few months ago, we hiked in the Pisgah National Forest. I ran down most of the Mt. LeConte trail. There was extreme vertigo to be had. I loved it. Strangely, I did not fall on the jagged rocks as I hurtled down the trail. (I already blogged about that experience in October...) Here's a picture from the top of the ridge:



...what is wrong with me? I'm not even 30, and I'm thinking about the good old days. 


What was it Solomon said in Ecclesiastes? 
"Do not say, 'Were the old days better than these?' 
For it is not wise to ask such questions." 

I agree wholeheartedly with his statement. I am eagerly expectant for the future.

I really think the old days are just as good as the new days. Because the new days will eventually be the old days and the new days bring the greatest days closer and closer. 

I do love scouring my memory and reflecting on happy times.

There are some memories that I do not like reflecting on. {For obvious reasons.}
But sometimes I shock myself when what used to be a emotional wound has now healed up nicely when I revisit it (okay, maybe there is still some scarring.) So, occasionally I'll check up on myself by seeing how I feel when I think about certain memories.

Like the time when my goldfish, Buggy, died. I was 9.
...no, I can't revisit that one yet. Just so you know, high-heels, softball, and fishtanks DO NOT MIX. Ever. I don't think I need to delve into that. (His death was unintentional.)


How about that time I fell flat on my face while walking?
...ouch. I have both physical and emotional scars from that one.
{Note to self: Never bring that up again. I will never recover.}

I think I need to stop revisiting memories now. Since I'm not pleasantly surprised at my emotional healing.

I will post something epic. Be ready for it. It might be a few weeks, but it will come.





Also, if you're bored, or feel like watching me be a goof, check out my youtube channel. Click on kikithenut, if you are so inclined.



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