Archive | March, 2014

My cup is overflowing!

31 Mar

We heard Psalm 23 yesterday in worship and then I used it for my children’s sermon.  I brought up a bucket, a pitcher of water, and a glass, and asked one of the kids to pour me a glass of water because I was thirsty.  I told him that I would tell him when to stop pouring.  But I didn’t.  Until the water was running over the side.  We talked about how a cup that runs over at the dinner table is a bad thing.  A thing that we need to clean up.  But this kind of cup that is in the psalm?  It runs over with lots of wonderful things – lots of blessings from God.

I drank my glass of water and then, as they named good things in their lives [everything from friends to family to snow days to pets to finding diamonds – yup, not lying about that last one], we filled the cup with water again until it overflowed.

I offer that as an illustration for my weekend.  My cup is filled to the brim and it’s falling over the sides.

  • Sara and I saw Divergent at the fanciest theater ever in St.Louis Park.  One with a restaurant and bacon popcorn and grapefruit mojitos and giant comfy seats.  The movie was pretty stellar too.
  • I slept over at Sara’s.  We drank a throw-back favorite of ours: almond champagne from Trader Joe’s.  Bubbly deliciousness.
  • Iced coffee.  No more words needed.
  • I ate pho for the first time at the Vietnamese restaurant in Austin and watched Pitch Perfect with someone who hadn’t seen it before.  Acca-believe it!  Always good for a laugh.
  • A sloppy and wet but beautiful walk at the nature center in Austin.
  • Burgers on the grill.  Hey, it was 60 degrees in Minnesota yesterday!  On that same temperature note, I laid in the hammock over melting piles of snow for about 20 minutes. It was necessary.
  • You know that beer I “helped” make?  Saturday I “helped” keg it and yesterday I helped drink it.  [Note there were no quotes on the final helped because that one was actually true.]  What does it taste like?  Bananas.  I’m not kidding … but according to the brew master, it’s a good thing.  [Fermentation … 50 degrees … cloves … something something.]
  • I’m going to throw a Monday morning thing in here too.  Monday morning is quilting at ROG.  I usually show up around coffee time and chat for a bit.  I declined any treats with my coffee; I pretty much had just ate breakfast.  But dear Connie decided that I really needed to try this date nut bread … and so she brought the last remaining piece to my office for me.  How sweet.

It was an all-around good weekend and the week ahead isn’t looking too shabby either.  Movie plans, dinner with my BFF Carter and his family, and another Lenten Wednesday service at church.  All good stuff.  I hope your week ahead is all kinds of lovely too!

Friday Favorites.

28 Mar

There are all kinds of joys and favorites in my life this week. Are you ready for so much awesome? Are you sure?

Iced coffee: I couldn’t wait any longer. I started a batch of cold press coffee last night. It’s supposed to be 60 degrees in Minnesota on Sunday! I will most certainly want iced coffee. Anything over 55 degrees and my coffee requires ice. Oh, the deliciousness.

Soap: I like Target’s Method soap. Did you know they have released summer scents? They have!  Are you excited?  Now, when you wash yours hands in the downstairs bathroom, they smell like orange ginger sorbet.

A clean kitchen.

Curly hair: It took me many years to believe it, but there are benefits. Here are twelve reasons having curly hair rocks.

Brown bananas: I’m not a huge fan of eating brown bananas. I like my bananas half green. However, sometimes I don’t eat them fast enough at their half-green state and they turn brown. Sometimes, they just go in the compost bin because I don’t particularly care for banana-things. You know, bread, etc. However, I made banana cookies last night with two brown bananas. It was simple. Mash bananas. Add one cup of quick oats and a quarter cup of chocolate chips. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 350. Yum.

Buying fabric on etsy. #dangerous

Easter: I’m getting itchy to attack Easter crafts. Perhaps I should start with salt dough Easter egg ornaments?

Friday plans: I’m heading to the cities tonight to meet up with Sara. We have a date with a movie theater to see Divergent and we both can’t wait. Then we are going to have a sleepover with girl talk and wine. Super excited.

Sunday: For the first time all month, I will be done with church things by noon and the afternoon is free. All mine. Have I mentioned it’s supposed to be over 60 degrees? I’m hoping for a long, glorious walk outside.

Like I said at the beginning – it’s almost too much awesome for one week. I hope yours has been just as wonderful and that your weekend is filled with joy!

I miss college.

25 Mar

If you are currently a college student, enjoy it all.  Every moment.

If you are going to be a college student, you just wait.  It’s pretty awesome.

If you – like me – are past your college days, reminisce how great it was with this video of college students dancing. Randomly. Because they can. Because why not? This was my “I miss college” trigger for the day. It makes me so HAPPY to call Luther my alma mater!

Monday Morning Star Count – on a Tuesday Afternoon

25 Mar

I wasn’t ready to post yesterday morning because, you see, I only finished sewing this baby together last night.

And this is it. I’m done with the hexie portion of this Union Jack pattern. Over 500 hexies basted and sewn together.  It’s been a project on my coffee table since last November; I think I might miss it!  Next up: a scrappy triangle border to surround the flag. I started last night and I think it’s going to be a long process. It’s hard to go back to the machine after getting so comfy hand sewing on the couch! It’s also hard since it seems Sherlock is no longer available on Hulu … Sherlock was my watch-over-and-over kind of show. I guess I need a new one.

[I’m trying to link up with Life Under Quilts … but wordpress isn’t letting me insert a link at the moment.  Huh.  I’ll try again later and once I do, then you should click to the link to check out other awesome hexie projects!]


Inanimate object love.

20 Mar

Do you get attached to inanimate objects? Appliances specifically?

You know, like really love your hair dryer and if you have to use someone else’s it’s just uncomfortable and strange? Or your kitchen mixer? Maybe your iron?

I realized this week how much I’m attached to my coffee grinder. This coffee grinder has been my constant morning companion for years. I bought it while on internship in Dawson. It had been with me in St. Paul, Wisconsin and the last two and a half years in Austin. I realized how much I was attached to this morning companion when it BROKE and I had to try and replace it. (Not possible.)

So it broke. Actually, it’s been broke for a while but broke to a point that it still could be used with some basic modification. Modification I was more than willing to endure because I loved it so. But then this week, it just stopped working. And the world stood still.

I was in Austin yesterday for a visit and I ran into the store. Okay, I’ll just buy one. I need one. I’m sure I can find one that will work.


The store had two options. I chose one. I got it home. And I hated it.

The cord doesn’t wind up by twisting the bottom! You have to hold the button down THE WHOLE TIME! There is no measure on the top so I know how many beans to grind! It was horrendous. It was a nightmare.

So I ordered another one tonight. I just couldn’t deal with the subpar replacement. I found a coffee grinder of the same brand as before and with the same features. The order is being processed as I write. My life will return to normal when that box arrives on my stoop.

(And if ever I have written a satirical post that deserves this hashtag, it is this one: #firstworldproblems)

A week of many hats.

16 Mar

Another week has flown by and I’ve barely said a peep on here. Where was I?

I was an authorized clergy person doing lots of hospital visits. And a clergy person (not so authorized in that I had a badge) doing lots of other visits.

I was a third grade teacher on Friday. It was a great class HOWEVER the whole school was in a bit of a crazy-mode as the day I subbed was the day that each grade level rotated into the gym for PTO-sponsored bouncy houses and bouncy games. All day: “How much longer until we go to the gym?” “Two hours.” “How much longer?” “One hour and forty five minutes.”

I was a movie viewer. I watched lots of movies this weekend and it was an eclectic variety at that: Back to the Future III, Hot Rod, and The Hobbit.

I was a bowler. A bowler who broke 100 two out of three games. I’ll take it.

And I was a skyper. I skyped with Amanda and Joe and they told me awesome jokes. Ready? What’s red and hurts your teeth? (A brick.) And then we laughed for five minutes.



Signs of spring.

11 Mar

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Minnesota. The sun was shining and the temperatures climbed into the upper 40s. When you walked outside, the first and loudest sound you heard was the water running through the gutters and spouts; the snow was melting! It was lovely.

In an effort to both embrace it and help spring along (and not get angry that today it is much colder with the possibility of sleet/snow), here is what is happening in my house –


The Easter eggs have come out! I know that it is lent and that, theologically, this pastor is jumping the gun, but I want to be able to enjoy them. This is the first year these eggs have been on my table; they were my Grandma Vera’s. I loved seeing them at her house every year, so colorful and so glittery. I smile when I see them now.

Iced coffee! While it isn’t quite time for me to begin my own iced coffee process (believe me, though, I’ve thought about it more than once), these drinks are a nice stand in for a warmer, sunshiny day.


Cleaning. I love spring cleaning, especially when it’s a sermon procrastination tool.  I also love dreaming about sitting around the patio table, laying in the hammock, and being able to access my bird feeders once again. Spring has given us a taste, a tease, and now I officially can’t wait.

Monday Morning Star Count

10 Mar

I’m back at it … finally. After a crazy couple of weeks of traveling and being ill, I’m deep into my Union Jack hexies once again.  (And linking up over at Life Under Quilts – can’t wait to join the conversation again and see everyone’s progress since I’ve been absent!)

However, photo-wise, I don’t have a whole lot to show. I could show you a picture of how I’m using my treadmill as the quilt staging area. (Totally why I bought it, right?) I could show you a picture of the jumble of hexes on my lap as I sew and remove basting strings. Yeah, in fact, I think I will show you both of those that essentially show very little related to progress.

I’ve almost completed the stitching together of two quarters of the quilt. Two more and then the big pieces will be an even bigger jumble on my lap!

[Finally] Friday Favorites.

7 Mar

It’s finally another Friday Favorites.  [It’s been FOR-EV-ER.]  And it’s finally Friday which is my favorite.  After I posted on Monday night, I promptly was up all night, sick as a – something.  Lots of toast, naps, and Gatorade later [in addition to stumbling through two Ash Wednesday services and a funeral], I feel on the mend.  Finally.  You know what else is my favorite?

This pattern really tempts me to branch into sewing clothes.  Can you imagine just a whole bunch of these homemade tanks in my closet to go underneath my cardigans?  I can picture it very, very clearly in my mind …

MEYER LEMON AND POPPYSEED SOURDOUGH WAFFLES WITH A BLOOD ORANGE CARAMEL SAUCE?  [Yes, that required yelling.  That is my excitement level around anything lemon and anything waffles and anything caramel.]  Can you even imagine?

1.21 gigawatts!  Someone is going to make Back to the Future into a musical!

I want a wall of dots.  Think the church would go for that in their parsonage?

Oh, you know me.  Thai food is a weakness of mine.  Hence, these Thai chicken crunch wraps sound dreamy.

It would simply be uncharacteristic to have a Friday Favorites without some sort of quilting link.  Fine, okay, here you go.  A few tips on half square triangles.  I love triangles.

We’ll call that good.  I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much wonderful.  I hope your weekend is wonderful.  I’m getting my haircut by my favorite stylist in the Cities; my weekend can’t NOT be wonderful.  Haircuts are my favorite.

It’s been a week.

3 Mar

One week ago I set foot again on American soil.  I haven’t posted on this blog since [except, you may know, that one post the casting people of Chopped made me take down].  So what have I been up to?  Well …

I unpacked and put away my suitcase.  It’s the first time in about three months that it’s been put away.  I’m glad to be settled in at home again for a while.  The fridge has food again and my bedroom is strewn with clothes.  All is back to normal.

I did not get a call back to have a skype interview with the show Chopped.  Oh well.  No doubt I would have been chopped all to quickly into the show anyways.

I made beer.  And when I say I made beer, I really mean that I stirred some grain and measured some hops and activated some yeast.  My new friend did the rest.  He’s the expert brewer anyways; we’ll leave it to him.  But I’ll certainly help drink the hefeweizen in a couple weeks.

It was indeed right and salutary that we [jD, Lauren, Paige, and I] play Oscar bingo while watching the Academy Awards.  It was unfortunate for all of our cards that Ellen did not wear a bowtie.

Mabel and I tried to go for a walk.  We were both desperate to get out of the house.  We lasted about five minutes before limbs and paws got too cold.  I can’t wait until it is 30 degrees.

And this week?  Lent begins, pictorial directory planning, a funeral, newsletter, and a haircut.  That’s quite enough for now.

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