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One year ago –

3 Oct

One year ago today was a Wednesday.  I remember because it was a confirmation night and we were painting the to-be youth room lime green.  A couple youth and parents stuck around after class to help paint.  It’s then my iphone dinged with a new email.

Wouldn’t I consider auditioning for the reality show Master Chef?  They’d seen my cooking videos [check out the youtube link in the right hand column if you must] and were recruiting people to come to Minneapolis to try out.  And so began my crazy October of cakepops from scratch, VIP auditions, and everything Master Chef.  I look back fondly; as I think of turning 30 in just a few short months, auditioning for a reality television show goes in that look-at-the-fun-things-I’ve-done-in-these-first-30-years column.  It was crazy in a really fun way.  [Until I quit the process, of course.]

One year ago today also marked the eight year anniversary of my dad’s death.  Which makes today year nine.  The tradition is to watch Back to the Future [a mutual love for Marty McFly and the space/time continuum was one of the strong bonds my dad and I held] and drink a coke; today the plan might have to be falling asleep on the couch to Back to the Future as Paige and I have theater tickets to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Austin at the community college tonight.  I may not be able to stay awake to see Marty return from November 1955 but I’ll at least watch him go there at 88 mph to end up in Old Man Peabody’s barn after being chased by Libyan nationalists who shoot Doc for giving them a shotty bomb made of used pinball machine parts while stealing their plutonium.  And hopefully long enough to watch his own mother call him Calvin because it’s written all over his purple underwear when she puts his pants on her hope chest.

*clears throat*  So let us raise our cokes.  To John.  To Spanky.  To the best dad who would help us make the most elaborate snow forts, chase bats from my bedroom in the middle of the night using a broom, and help me decorate sugar cookies for all my friends with their names on them in his perfect printing.

Strawberry Festival cakepops.

11 Jun

As I recoup between parts one [noon serving] and two [evening serving] of Red Oak Grove’s 73rd Annual Strawberry Festival, I share with you my bake sale contribution –


You can see many varieties in the background; it took me quite a few cakepops to decide what kind of sprinkles and leaf-attachment technique worked best.  [Thanks to the one and only Bakerella for the idea!]  I think they turned out pretty dandy but we’ll see if they sell.  I have a feeling that in and among the krumkaka and kringla [Norwegian treats] people might not understand what they even are.


13 Oct
As you well know, I went to an open casting call for MasterChef today with my saran-wrapped plate of the Holy Trinity of cakepops.  I showed up, I auditioned, and I left.
That’s all I can say about that right now.
Then I went to Target to buy a surge protector.  [Who knew a treadmill should be on a surge protector? The woman whose treadmill was fried in an electrical storm did and she told me.]  A surge protector. I walked out with a surge protector, a yellow zip-up hooded sweatshirt, some dollar spot items, and a starbucks drink.  Let’s call it the Target curse.  Or my lack of willpower.
Now?  Wine, Alias, writing snail mail, and basking in the joy that I don’t need to go to church tomorrow.  Hallelujah.  [Even pastors need a Sunday morning break and I’m so ready for one.]

here’s my joy.

28 Apr
Knowing that this week the cards are stacked against me time-wise [easily a sixty-hour work week.  one to match the sixty from this past week.], I’m going to need a little joy in my life.  Knowing the emotions that will be involved, I’m really going to need a little joy.  Knowing how much my extroverted impostor will need to appear, I’m going to need lots of sleep too.  But in the brief times between work and sleep, herein lies my joy:

 Books scored at the Austin Public Library book sale.  These books – plus a few more – were only a total of $6.50.  You can’t even buy a book used on Amazon for that price when you add shipping to the shopping cart.  Who knows – I might not end up reading any of them this week, but simply looking at them brings me joy.  I love books.

My newest friend.  I love my treadmill.  I was super worried that because it has been so long since I’ve really been on one that it would be super hard and I would be disappointed at how little I could do.  Surprisingly enough, the couch-to-5k program hasn’t been putting me over the edge.  I can so do it!  And even though the program says not to do any more, I do.  I just love my treadmill too much.  [One of the things I love so much is that it’s in my house.  I don’t need to be concerned about how I look or my flailing arms.]
I have baby quilts dancing in my head.  I have one to be done in July and two for December.  [Twins!  I still can’t contain my excitement!]  I think I’m going scrappy for July.  I’m thinking small squares.  As for December, I’d love to know what the parents might like when that time comes.  🙂  [Sometimes I feel like I force a quilt on people.  But parents like quilts for babies, right?]
Project cakepop.  I started baking cakes today.  Cakes to be frozen, transformed into pops at a later date, and enjoyed at a wedding on June 1st!
While I know I’m going to be busy, I also know I need projects, and I’m in love with each one of those above.  I’m excited for the books to be read, jogs to be had, quilts to be made, and cakes to be baked.  That is my joy.

creative juices.

28 Oct
mmm.  juice.
I’ve been intentional to return to the crafting I love so much – the crafting I need to do to remain sane.  Attempting to be creative is one of my passions and what’s a passion if it’s not indulged?
I made a yarn wreath for the front door.  [I’ve decided I’m a wreath person.  I think I always want one on my door.  Hence, this pinterest board.]

I had a cake in the freezer now for a few weeks and decided it was time to make a batch of cakepops.  I’m due to send a few packages out; the cakepops will be included.  [I think I was cakepopped out after this summer but it was fun to return.  Have I told you that I have a thanksgiving turkey cakepop order coming up, in addition to a wedding cakepop event for next June?  Holy balls.]

I’m finally beginning to put together the quilt I wanted to finish in the month of July.  I’ve gotten to the unfortunate point when I just want to finish it to move onto the next project; perfection goes out the window.

I need to finish that quilt – or at least get to a proper pausing point – because I have a baby quilt up next!  I bought green and pale yellow fabric yesterday and hope to get it done in a couple weeks.  It’s going to be all sorts of circles.

sunday the third.

25 Sep
I arrived back to the dear parsonage a la 1:30am and was up around 6:30 to finish my sermon and figure out a children’s sermon.  [Thank goodness the Spark Story Bible I ordered last week had arrived on my doorstep!]  I dragged myself to church by 8 and wondered why in the world I’m in such a profession where I need to be up so early on a Sunday.  A Sunday.
Worship happened and – once again – a sermon that I thought was mediocre at best received a lot of positive feedback.  I shared cakepop knowledge with a table of people at coffee hour [we are so going to have a cakepop class at some point – there is interest!] and met with the youth and parents who are planning to head to the national youth gathering next summer.  [Who is their chaperone?  This girl!]  From there, a couple stopped in to set up the baptism of their son [Oct. 16 – to be my first baptism!] and then a woman who was visiting the church stopped by to chat.  I stood outside with one of my neighbors, her three kids, and their dog [who came down the road to join the conversation halfway through – sometimes Neutron walks the family to church and waits outside the doors until it’s over] for nearly an hour.  Despite my lack of sleep, it was a very, very good Sunday.  
From there, however, I got lazy.  Over the course of the afternoon, I watched the entire third disk of the second season of Modern Family.  I napped both in my hammock [brr] and on the couch.  I guess I did bake a cake and roll cakeballs.   Sewed a curtain for the guest bathroom [which I’m now not sure that I even like].  And not going to lie, after I finish a few emails, I might just go to bed.  This girl is still tired.
The Bishop’s Open tomorrow has been postponed until next Monday because of a possibility of rain … or something.  I received a voicemail about it.  I can’t get myself to actually work work now … and neither can Paige so we’re going to IKEA.  And maybe the Lakeville Target.  [seriously the Target of all Targets.]  Tomorrow night we’re chilling with jD too.  I’m sure we’ll talk business most of the time so really, it’s not like a full day off.  And I’ll go into the office briefly tomorrow morning just to clear my desk.  It’s messy.

ps If you are Coloradohi [shout out!], please know that I’ve tried to email you and thank you for your comments/reading [a long time overdue, I know] but cannot get through on google to connect to your email/profile!  If you would like to connect further, find my email on my google profile!  Thanks for reading!

cakepop challenge III.

1 Aug
The video that was filmed over two weeks ago has finally been edited and ready for your viewing pleasure.  This concludes this cooking pastor series, but I’m certain more will follow.  [Maybe one with qie on a stick, according to a text I received from Kendall this morning.  … his ‘p’ key doesn’t work.]
Missed the first installments in this series?  I’ve added a “cooking pastor” tab at the top of the blog – right under the header.  Click there to catch up!

a portapotty post.

26 Jul
It’s an I’m-just-not-sure-what-to-do-with-myself kind of day.  
I went to target to purchase note cards to mail off, but moped around the store for easily 45 minutes before actually checking out.  Then stopped at a quilt shop to see if I could find a quilt cleanser for these babies.  [I stopped at this quilt store a few weeks ago, looking for fabric for my red stole.  The woman who I spoke with today remembered me and asked me how my ordination was.  For nice!]  
A two-coffees kind of day.  A little obsessive over facebook day.
A spray painting wooden roosters day.  [Speaking of roosters, I died laughing at this blog post.]
I went to the jewelry center at the mall.  Gal pal, Kim, and her husband, together with her parents, bought me a Pandora bracelet for my ordination.  I found out there is a gnome charm.  Done.  [The woman who helped me asked if I collected gnomes.  Um … I guess so!]

And then I came home to find this in our yard.  Classy.  [We’re hosting an auction this weekend.  I promise a portapotty in the yard is not normal.]

I’m baking a cake in an attempt to make these tonight, as per request of a friend throwing a baby shower.  Wish me luck.  Mine likely will look nothing like the picture.  [But mine also won’t cost $48/dozen!]

But first, I think I might take a nap.  Sleep has not been my friend these last couple nights.  [After I put a second coat of paint on the roosters, of course.]

bulletin: complete.

20 Jul
It was a big day in the world of ordination planning for this girl.  Knowing that the bulletins need to be printed tomorrow meant buckling down on the project that has consumed my life.  Picky and particular about spacing, layout, and fonts, I spend way too much time on things like this.  But I was also able to add something to the bulletin today which was quite thrilling for me –
Special music.  With word this morning that the entire staff of Grace in Dawson is coming [enter jumping up and down, a three-fold amen, or something to signify the excitement], I realized I had both a talented piano man and strong voice to put to use.  Last minute, I know, but I’m super excited that Chris and Jon agreed to do a music piece for the offering.  [Likely another moment I’ll cry during the service.]
I made lots of detail phone calls today.  I spoke with the woman of the church who is putting together the reception that follows.  She wondered how many to plan for at the service.  75?, she asked.  I said, well, with my family and friends from outside the church alone, I bet we’re looking at fifty.  [Fifty?!  I’m so excited!]  I spoke to Red Oak Grove [check out this strange looking girl on their website] to learn if they were or were not coming to present me.  [Answer still unknown.]  Facebook messages, emails, and texts were sent and received, all leading up to a fairly concrete and appropriate service, neatly arranged on four sheets of folded paper.  To the printer tomorrow and then I won’t look at them until Sunday for fear of finding a typo.
It was a great check-things-off-the-list kind of day and simply a day to get extremely emotional about what is to come.  I spoke to Tammy on the phone and she told me, “I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!” Me too!  My red stole [sewn by my mother] hangs on the door to my bedroom and as I look at it, I realize I’m trapped in a glass case of emotion.  One minute, it’s tears.  The next, pure unhinged excitement.  I can’t stand it!
[I also went to Madison for a haircut.  Baked a batch of cookies.  Went swimming with the cousins whom I picked up from daycare.  Made cakepops with Aunt Kari and cousin Connor for his grad party on Saturday.  Long day.  Exciting day.  Time for night-night.  Sleep well.]

I wish –

18 Jul
I’ve been away.  There has been much blogging delay.  
I wish I could say that I’ve been busy hanging out with the hopeful new friend whom I emailed last week but nope.  I think he found me creepy and has yet to respond.  [I’m a wee bit bummed about this.]
I wish I could say that I’ve been busy replying to all of you who have written me emails.  But that’s not true either.  [Responses will come, I promise!]
I wish I could say that I was finishing up the final touches on the latest Cooking Pastor episode but that’s not the case.  I’m working on editing it but this one is taking me a bit longer.  It will be here sometime soon!
I wish I could say that I spent a couple hours at the theater watching the final installment of Harry Potter. I haven’t seen it yet but hope I will find time/friends to see it this week.
I wish I could say that I’ve been steadily focused on ordination and now all of those pieces are in place but that’s just silly.  If everything was ready, what would I have to do/stress about this week?  
Those are the things I have not been doing.  So where the hay have I been?
Playing a healthy and therapeutic dose of Apples to Apples and CatchPhrase with a picnic table full of cousins.  

Celebrating Tobacco Heritage Days in Edgerton.  It’s our summer festival and my way of celebrating included participating/helping at a family rummage sale on Friday, going out with friends on Saturday night, and watching the parade on Sunday.  Perhaps some of you know about my history of stripping [tobacco].  This year, the parade featured a series of floats [read: tractors] that explained the growing,  harvesting, and stripping processes of tobacco.  This is how I used to strip: [you can kinda see the dry-leafed plants hanging upside down.  remove leaves.  put in tobacco presses shown.  press.  bundle.  done.]
Catching up with old friends.  Twins Melanie and Megan joined Kim, Kay, and I for the parade in this lovely 90+ degree day.  Melanie and Megan were two years younger than us in high school but we became friends when they hosted an AFS student, Oksana, whom we all dearly loved.  Seeing Melanie and Megan, sitting at the parade with them, and catching up on each others’ lives seriously warmed my heart today.  
Following the parade, I celebrated with Marj, the mom of another high school friend, Jenni, at her birthday open house.  It was great to see Marj, other friends, and Jenni, who now lives in Indiana with her husband and foster children.  So wonderful.
Rolling, dipping, and decorating 250 cakepops.  Friend Krissy is getting married in three weeks and I said I would help her make cakepops for the reception.  We began at 4pm and I returned home after 11:30.  [My feet hurt.]
That’s where I’ve been.  I hope to be a more consistent virtual friend for you this week as the icky humid heat keeps me indoors.  I’m also fairly certain I’ll need the therapy of writing as my emotions grow out of whack in anticipation of [whispers] the ordination.
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