Archive | July, 2014


29 Jul

(I’m still wrapping my head around the camp weekend that was and I’m not quite ready to share my thoughts. Stay tuned for Camp Erin stories in the near future! In the meantime …)

It seems that it is in my super busy weeks that I need to name my joy. Just a written reminder that it’s there amidst the crazy.

I came home from camp, tired and pretty exhausted, only to begin a long week. In the course of the next seven days, I will preside over three funerals and one graveside service. I will preach and lead Sunday morning worship, and prepare and have fun at the last day of day camp.

So yeah. Where is my joy? Those things that calm my anxiety, the places in which I feel peace, the times that allow me to step back and breathe. Here they be:

Garden produce. I officially have a cucumber and a few zucchini. I ate a zucchini tonight and look forward to some cucumber and red pepper hummus tomorrow.

Bicycle rides. Dave and I rode to dinner last night in downtown Austin. It was a beautiful night; we even ate outside. It was perfection. So many of my favorite things.

Coffee and conversation with a dear, dear member beginning a hospice journey.

Open windows at night.

The succulent garden in my window.

Knowing that at the end of the craziness, visitors will arrive, this time in the form of sister Emma and crazy cousin Molly.

Finding the replacement pages to order for my daily planner binder. (Very exciting. I feel lost without them.)

A weeded garden.

Red wine with supper.

It’s likely that’s only a partial list but a good place to begin. A good reminder for when I’m curled up in the fetal position, rocking back and forth and crying under stress. (I usually have to have one breakdown before I can really get things done. It’s just how I function.) But yes – joy is here. That’s a fact.

… but you might not hear from me for awhile. You’ll know why.

Pizza on the Farm

24 Jul

These places of cool are popping up all over the place these days. Pizza farms. Here is how they work:

You bring your blanket and your utensils. Any appetizers and beverages too. You pick a spot, order your pizza, and enjoy the atmosphere until the pizza is all done and gooey and wonderful from a wood oven in the back of a barn. Sit. Enjoy.

It sounds absolutely lovely, right? We thought so, especially for a beautiful Wednesday night. I actually had cut out an article about this specific farm months and months ago. The Red Barn Farm in Northfield was featured in Minnesota Monthly. It’s taken nearly a year but I finally have friends to go with me on a whim!

It was absolutely lovely, but the thing is, everyone else thought the same thing. We went to order our pizza right around 7pm and were told it was a two hour wait. Two hours. Like whoa. Plan B became sitting and enjoying the food we had brought, learning what to do better next time, and then going to order pizza somewhere else. Next time we will know.

We also were able to see a glimpse of what to work towards in regards to pizza picnics on the farm. Yesterday, we were amateurs in the midst of professionals. Professionals like these guys – they brought a table, tablecloth, chairs, real wine glasses, and much more. That’s the goal, people. Absolute class at the pizza farm. We will try again another Wednesday.



In other news, I’m off to camp this weekend! I’m super pumped. It will be an experience, I am sure. I’ll report back upon my return!

Life at the Parsonage B&B.

22 Jul


I love visitors. LOVE visitors. Melissa, Joel, Hannah, and Harper came and it was awesome. (Really, everything is awesome. Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.) We played outside, had pizza picnics, went to the Spam museum, ate outside some more, loved on Mabel, climbed on the treadmill, and, in general, had a ton of fun.

As it always is, it was hard to say goodbye as they pulled out of the parking lot on Monday morning. But – BUT – I might see them again in February. I hope the dreams come true. Plans are in the works for a third annual train trip to Montana …

The twin beds were made in the guest room with care …

16 Jul

I have guests arriving tomorrow! This is completely and utterly the summer of visitors and I love it. Tomorrow arriving are Montana friends Joel, Melissa, Hannah, and Harper. Here they shall remain until Monday or so. Hooray! It will be an adventure … my house is not even close to toddler-proof. However, I do own a built-in vacuum for the cracker crumbs and such; Mabel will beyond love the the toddler twins.


In an effort to catch up a bit on other life happenings, how’s this:

Today was the second session of day camp and it was all sorts of fishy fun. It really was a great day. Great kids, great youth leaders, great supportive adults. Super fun.


And just because I like to give you all a reason to laugh, I’ll tell you that I rode a motorcycle for the first time this past weekend. Dave is one of those motorcycle guys and he convinced me that we should ride to Decorah. On his motorcycle. I’m willing to try almost anything once …

However, you should know that I once fell off of a snowmobile that was going about two miles per hour (and my friends have never let me forget it) and have tipped many a golf cart. I’m not too great with open-air modes of transportation. That being said, we made it to the countryside around Austin before I asked him to turn around. Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. We traded the motorcycle in for pedal bicycles, sketchy corner store Mexican food, and geocaching. I felt much more comfortable and safe with that afternoon.


It happened again.

8 Jul

A stranger told me to smile.

(Warning: Curse words ahead.)

I’ve mentioned this before. I feel like I have an over abundance of stories and experiences in which strangers tell me to smile. Let’s add another one, shall we?

I was at Hyvee. I had put everything on the checkout conveyor belt as the cashier finished with the woman ahead of me. She moved on, all her groceries paid for and bagged and in her cart. My turn.

Except the cashier didn’t begin to ring my items up right away as a cashier normally would. He looked at me, put his arm out in front of the start of my groceries as if to protest their need of being scanned and his willingness to do it. We made eye contact.

I’m not going to do this (He motioned to my yogurt and almond milk.) until you smile.

Seriously, dude? I smiled a cheesy smile, halfway pissed because yet another stranger had acknowledged and declared something had to be said about my perpetual frown and serious face. The cheesy, half smile was enough for him; he began to scan my groceries.

I explained to him that I don’t control my face (Seriously. I make faces that I never even realize.) and that he’s not the first person to demand to see my teeth. He told me that I just looked so serious that something had to be done and that I had a really pretty smile. Well, gosh. Thank you, crazy cashier at Hyvee. That’s sweet? creepy? strange? of you. Later he also referred to me as “the lady with the constant frown.”

Sigh. Just another example of what it is like in society to be plagued with RBF. (*cough* Resting Bitch Face *cough* It’s a thing.)

weekend happiness.

6 Jul


Top left: Colorful bowls! They always make me happy in the cupboard.
Top middle: A pot of risotto to eat thru the week. Risotto is the best.
Top right: Quilting for a friend who is having her first baby.

Middle left: I made my own nut milk! My process needs some improvement but who wouldn’t be happy with a little almond-macadamia-date action in their coffee? (ps I found plastic lids for mason jars at target and LOVE them. I use mason jars on a regular basis for food storage and plastic is much swifter than searching for the two piece metal lids.)
Middle: The Grand Budapest Hotel. Delightful and entertaining as all Wes Anderson is.
Middle right: I was given ten of these sturdy file boxes for free. I’m painting them, repairing them, and three are now travel boxes on my shelf, storing momentos from past adventures.

Bottom left: I backed my curio cabinets with yellow polka dot fabric! Not the bold effect I had hoped for but I’ll do with the subtlety.
Bottom middle: The garden got some much, much needed attention. It looks good (to me, the novice gardener) and veggies are growing!
Bottom right: My mom is organizing photos and sent me this gem. Say hello to Lindsay in kindergarten.

Mabel’s favorite things.

3 Jul

It occurred to me that I talk A LOT about my favorite things. But I am not the only person (err, thing that breathes) in this house. And thus, here are some of Mabel’s favorite things:

Taking walks.


Sleeping like this.


Laying in the middle of the parking lot because, well, why not.


Drooling on my kitchen floor.




Not pictured: treats, jumping on new people, getting overly excited at new people, car rides with her head out the window, shredding toilet paper if given the chance, ice cubes, always making space for herself on the couch, and doggy friends.

She’s a pretty good canine and companion. She’s one of my favorite things.

Project brain.

2 Jul

It’s a made-up and self-diagnosed condition that I have.

Project brain.

I have projects on my brain and can think of nothing else.  [I write this while at work because project brain strikes most intensely when there is a sermon to be written.  For hopeless.]

I said goodbye to Dave last night; he leaves for a 10-day wilderness adventure in Michigan with a friend.  Without him in the picture for next week and a half, I suddenly have a lot of free time.  Hello, projects.  Like these –

Shelves for my soon-to-be cleaned and organized home office.  I plan to wander around Lowe’s soon to find necessary supplies.

Backing the corner curio cabinets [aka my gnome homes] with fabric.

New curtains for the office.

A baby quilt for a friend and quilted potholders for another friend.

A little quote word art and a little furniture rearranging.

Not projects, but also on my suddenly-lots-of-free-time schedule of hopes and dreams –

Those final two episodes of the second season of Homeland that wait for me.

The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Must watch.

Weeding the garden.

Walks with Mabel.

… I think that’s enough for now.  But before all of it – sermon.  *sigh*

%d bloggers like this: