Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

a must buy

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

wrestling fragile

I was in my car.  The radio pastor was not Joel Osteen, but his message was dangerously similar.  God doesn't just want to give me a roof over my head, clothes and food.  He wants to bless me with "things" - abundantly.  I know the verse.  I know the sentiment.  I can argue both sides and all around and back and forth and inside and out.  I can speak Christianese. 

Some Sundays as I'm sitting in church it is all I can do not to start shouting.  Our clothes are all beautiful.  Our parking lots filled with expensive vehicles.  Our homes...our stuff...our things.  We have been blessed abundantly. 

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."

Sweet!  I hope Baby Jesus is going to bring me an iPad2 for His birthday. 




People.  PEOPLE!  How do we reconcile our wealth and the needs of the poor?  Do we only give once we have all the stuff we want?  Because God's hand of blessing is on us?  Do we sell everything we have?  Where is the middle ground between David Platt and Joel Osteen?  Why do we buy all these books?  Why do we pick one token "social issue"....

I have been wrestling.  With this and so many other things.  Church as a business.  Sinners.  All of us.  Sinning.  And loving.  And trying.  And failing. 

Wanting SO BADLY to wrestle this all out with someone.  Anyone.  Anyone that won't  pray a sermon over me.  As I know I have done to others.  (If I've done that to you, I'm so sorry.)  Why do we do that?  Why do I do that? 

I imagine myself in a conversation.  Puking this all out on someChristiansomeone.  And I already know the pat answers.  I can complete the entire dialogue (monologue) in my mind.  I already know.  The Christianese. We say the right things.  We gently rebuke.  We have the verse that supports our response.   

Can you have a conversation with someone and begin it with, "I already know I am judging others and that is wrong.  I already know that God is in control.  I already know that we are all sinners.  I already know that the poor will always be among us.  I already know...Grace!  Mercy!  Love!  Jesus! The Bible!  God!" 

Do I sound self righteous?  I am!  I am full of all kinds of sins.  I judge.  I have a log in my own eye.  I already know that!  I am on a slow burn to I'm not sure where....crazy?

...I sit here and simmer.  Afraid to say the words out loud.  I'm too fragile to face rebuke. 

I don't want a prayer sermon.  I just want God to be right here with me, so very close.  And maybe someone else who doesn't have the right answers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

For Eric (& Jen)

It took a while to figure out how to do this.
A long time (years?) ago, my brother-in-law gave me an idea for a painting. 
A birth. 
A death. 
And a resurrection.
A giant trio. 
This is how I would hang it. 
I told him he's going to need a big wall. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

you don't bring a mirror to the grand canyon

A John Piper quote that pricked my soul at momtime today.

Followed by:

(my paraphrasing)

((of this wise young lady))

When you're drowning in the river, you don't reach out and grab onto something that is also in the river.  You must reach out to someone on the river's edge. 

(P.S. His name is Jesus.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

for Cook

Posted by Picasa

the white goose

Several years ago I noticed a giant white goose living amongst a flock of Canadian geese at one of the city parks.  It stuck out.  Like a giant white goose. 

Every Spring since, I've kept my eye out for her.  (Or him.  But I've named it let's just say it's a girl.) And every Spring, there she is...giant Miss Frannie.

I love her. 

Sassy thing. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

the real

I took a picture this afternoon.  But I feel too lazy to pull out the camera cord so I can upload it.

The picture is of my sofa.  Couch.  Davenport.  Whatever.

There are powdery hand prints all over the seats.  Why?  Because my son's lunch was a donut.  And you know what?  So was his breakfast.  He ate both of them in front of the couch, all classy-style.

And to be completely honest the reason we even have donuts in the house today is because it's Friday. 

A friend and I decided last April to walk every weekday morning.  At FIVE a.m. 

Because we're total rock stars, we started running  at some point in May.  Eventually we were walk/running a 5K every day.  That's right.  A 5K.  Impressed?  Hold on.

When school started, we decided we should cut back to meeting Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  And then it started to get a little cold and one or both of us started having achy joints.  So we decided we would quit with the running and just walk fast.

That went well. 

Until we decided that we should walk really fast on Monday and Wednesday, and then Friday instead of meeting to walk, we should meet for donuts. 


That's what we do. 

I've lost exactly zero pounds.

But, it's my favorite new reason to wake up at 5 a.m. on a Friday.   

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ten eleven

He has a birthday today.

And an early meeting.  And an out of town football game. 

Yesterday we made cards and hit the grocery store for the ingredients we'll need to make his birthday dinner.  Everyone had ideas....a feast to rival the holiday meals.  The presents they want to buy for him cost more than they (will ever) have.  So they draw pictures. 

Tonight, when it's much past bedtime, we'll be waiting by the windows for our birthday dad to come home. 

And we will celebrate the man that 4 little kids adore and whose wife thinks he hung the moon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

it's a friday

I like a Friday.

Yesterday, my teeny tiniest tiny baby turned one.  I didn't even cry about it.  This is huge.  And curious.  I'm not sure why I'm so okay with it.  Maybe because I made brownies with cream cheese frosting?  I don't know.  But that frosting.  Whoa. 

There's a good amount left in my fridge right this minute and it's taking a bunch of will power not to go at it with a spoon.  I just had a conversation with myself.....I said, "Hey, self.  Give me one good reason why I shouldn't finish off that frosting."  To which I replied, "How about 3500 good reasons?  That's how many calories are in that little tub of delicious."  So.  I didn't eat it. 


And as an update to the show:  It went okay.  It was definitely fun, but I don't think it's the best venue for paintings.  I'm thinking next year, when we do it again, I'm going to have to come up with something different to add to the mix. 

I noticed that light bulb snowmen and santas were pretty popular.  I may need to switch gears.

Friday, September 30, 2011

getting ready

I've been playing around with the paintings for the show.  It feels very nostalgic.  My grandfather owned a clothing store where I got to work for several years.  I loved to change the displays and stage the windows.  This feels a little bit like that.  Only, Bumpie isn't at my house to add a pair of work boots and woolen socks. 

*fifty points if you can find the stealth fighter jet, zebra, and old brown pickup truck.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

For a show this weekend...

I'm joining my mom and sister this weekend at a craft show

Super pumped to be spending Saturday with a few of my favorite ladies selling our wares.

If you are near Lake City, MN, come and say hello!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banana Bread - for my doll

I'm baking banana bread today.  I decided a long time ago (probably when I was hungry) that I'd like my kids to have me baking as part of their growing up experience.  I have a glass cake dome on my counter that I try to keep filled with some sort of baked situation.

While I was mixing up the batter, I started thinking about my girl.  How one day, when she has a kitchen of her own, I'd like her to have a starter set of recipes at her disposal.

So, over the course of time, I'm going to compile some those recipes here.

Starting with:

 Banana Bread
(Great Grandma Delores)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter - softened (or melted if you want to hurry)
2 or 3 mashed bananas
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (which we never have on hand so I sour skim milk with vinegar-just a drop)

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Mix the first six ingredients in the order listed.  Make sure to cream the butter and sugar first.  I usually use a potato masher to smush up the bananas, and then just keep mashing all the other wet ingredients with that.

Next, you can dump the next 4 ingredients into a pile on top of the banana mixture.  Take a second to fluff the soda and powder into the flour (with your *clean-of-course* fingers) and then fold it all together.

I usually divide this between 2 bread pans, or use it all in one bundt pan, and before placing it in the oven, I top it with sugar.  (Raw is best, but regular cane will do just fine.)

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes to an hour.  (A knife inserted should come out clean when it's done.)

This is a nice basic banana bread recipe, but it also loves to be jazzed up.  You know how much your mother loves to jazz things up.  Coconut, walnuts, chocolate themselves or all together make it extra special.


Monday, September 19, 2011


here's to one and only one
who loves but one and only one
and may that one be me.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

spider moms

"What are you painting, Mom?

"It's a Spider Mum."

"A Mom Spider?  Oh I see, Mom."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little House Style and also? Poetry.

The power went out today.  For about 45 minutes?  It wasn't out for very long, but it just happened to go out 4 minutes after I started browning hamburger for tonight's dinner.  My stove is electric.  So, you know, a problem presented itself.  However, because I am Laura Ingalls Wilder, I took my iron skillet and put it in my grill outside.  That grill sure did the trick.

I felt very....I don't know....resourceful is a bit too strong...quick thinking?  Brilliant?  Handsome, regal, majestic. Lovable, yes, yes. Cuddly...whatever, it just felt good. 

And it tasted good. 

Also, as I was looking for the post about simplicity that I linked to under Laura Ingalls, I found this little snippet hiding in my archives.  (My archives.  Psh.) 

I leave you with:


They walked together.
The hour was late.
He walked ahead,
to open the gate.
She wanted to thank him,
but didn't know how.
He was the farmer.
And she was the cow.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

And still, I remember. As if It happened yesterday

(a repost)

On Friday, September 7th, 2001, I was on my way to an evening design class. The road I was on had a series of synchronized lights...the kind where you could get through all of them if you pushed it, just a little. The car in front of me was getting us through them...we were nearly at the end of the set, when the last one turned yellow. The gal in front of me stepped it up, and so did I. I reached down to grab something out of my back pack and looked up. She was hammering her breaks. I hammered, too. But it was too late. The roads were just a little wet, and I rear ended her.

I got out of the car in a panic. Was she okay? She was okay. I was a wreck. I was crying. I felt horrible. Her lovely car had one little schmick in her bumper. My neon was a crumpled up mess. I called my dad, who was also, conveniently, my insurance agent. He arrived. The police arrived. My husband arrived. I couldn't stop crying.

The poor sweet lady I ran into was so lovely and gracious. She reassured me that everything would be just fine. It was so bizarre. When all was said and done, my husband drove me to my class. My neon went to the shop. The nice lady drove herself home, with my insurance information. The police gave me a ticket, because insult and injury go hand in hand.

The next morning, I woke up very stiff. And emotional. I was about to grab a handful of Advil, when it occurred to me that something else was rather amiss. I took a test. It had two lines.

I did not take the Advil.

The rest of the weekend went by with me in a state of shock and a state of shock.

That next Tuesday, I said goodbye to my husband as he left for his daily college routine. I was getting ready for classes in the same way I always did...breakfast at the coffee table while watching Good Morning America. A plane hit the World Trade Center. Watching in disbelief, a second plane hit.

What is going on?

What is going on?

I watched until I had to leave to get to class. On the drive over, the radio spoke about the Pentagon. All the pieces were beginning to come together.

I parked my husband's truck in my parking lot, and began the 7 block trek to the Apparel, Textile, and Interior Design building. Something hot began to pinch my arm. A bee. I was being stung by a bee. It made me angry. I stepped out of character and squished it with my hand.

I ruined my car. We were having a baby. Something horrible was happening in our Country. I got stung by a bee.

I made it to class, and there were only 2 other people that showed up. Everyone was moving around really slowly. Televisions all around campus were tuned into live coverage.

I went to grab a coffee. Brought it back to the studio, and decided to work on my project. As I rendered the office space I had been working on, life felt very different. What am I doing? An Interior Designer? How do we change the world? What kind of world is this to be bringing a baby into? My arm hurts, stupid bee. What do we all do now?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

once again

Another day of firsts. 
Homework pencils are sharpened.  Ready.

So were they.  

This was a big day for two big kids. 

They couldn't wait.

(I could wait.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

striking while the iron is plugged in

Or, I'm sorry Orla Kiely. 

I used to measure my level of crazy by how many times I painted my kitchen. 

(A lot of times.)

But I tired of painting my kitchen.  Also?  What I really want to do in my kitchen is make new counter tops.  Although, I don't know how to do that.  And?  New counter tops cost about 50 times more than a gallon + a pint of paint.  So. The painting.  It has to go somewhere. 

I'm noticing a trend in these recent blog posts.  Namely:  they're all paintings.  Which is a good gauge of my crazy.  Or at least the potential for my crazy.  Painting is the medicine for my brain that says, "shh, shh.  It's okay."  Please don't be alarmed.  I am (mostly) normal.

I've got a few avenues for selling some of these this fall.  If I get my act together afterwards...or before...who can tell?...I'll swing the doors of my lonely Etsy shop back open.  In case you are in need of some  hotel art for your walls.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


 for Shana...
....and just because it was done on the same day...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I've been painting for just long enough that some of the people I know have accumulated small galleries of my stuff.  These are at one of my sister's house.  I'd forgotten how many she had.  :)  It's fun for me to see them in action. 
I am admittedly no Van Gogh. 
I refer to my style as Hotel Art. 
It's not Monet, but I don't mind looking at it on the wall. 


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Attn: Julia Roberts R.D.H.

24" x 30" ~ $55

Friday, August 12, 2011

ocean circles

...for Steph...