Friday, October 29, 2010


During my trip to Kansas, Laura and I would hear this each morning from the backseat of her Honda Odyssey. Little Owen asking, "What's going on?" But in his two year old voice. It came out, "Sckanon" and Hailey, Laura and I merged it into our everyday lingo. So here's what's "sckanon" with me.

Maggie from Ohio with an Irish Accent
 My friend Maggie came to visit! She came to spend time with her Londoner friend Jessica who was in Atlanta for a wedding. It was such an incredibly, amazing blessing. A new friend I have come to know better and an even newer friend, I have found. Two amazing women who came to spend a few days in my city and share their lives with me. They encouraged me, fed me, physically, spiritually and it was all lovely. They made fun of my accent and I tried to mimic theirs, Irish and British mixed together. I gave Maggie by best Scarlet O'Hara, per her request, and I think she was impressed. Little does she know I could start at the very beginning of the movie with the Tarleton boys wooing Scarlet on the front porch and begging her to save a dance for them at the BBQ over at Twelve Oaks, but I didn't want her to know how Southern I really am. It's thick, Maggie. I confess.

We had a perfect dinner at Rosebud and by perfect I pretty much mean perfect. We could not decide on what to get so we got a table full of starters and sides and a lovely Pinot and it was all perfection. We spent a night at Serenbe and it was pretty perfect too. Lovely chats on the porch or by the pool in the big swing. On one of our walks I really wanted to jump on the trampoline and as soon as I asked if anyone else wanted to jump I thought, "Grow up". But they said YES! And I was elated because of course I wanted to jump, but would have looked like an idiot solo on the trampoline, showing off my toe touch while my chic European friends watched this country bumpkin yelling, "Come on y'all". Thankfully they wanted to jump too and it made us all giggle a little and it was silly fun. Then Jessica suggested we go for a swim and I knew I had found friends for life. Friends who are willing to jump in cold water just because the sun is out and you can't swim every day and it's invigorating. So we all went swimming. In October. Of course, it was at least 80 degrees out. When we first arrived I overheard the check-in lady tell Jessica that the pool was not heated. Ha! She doesn't know us. "We came here to jump on the trampoline, brave the chilly water, hike your trails, eat your peanut butter cookies. No we are not twelve, but we remember what it feels like and we recreate it as often as we can". 
Sweet Jessica, from London by way of Ireland and Boston
You have no idea.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


"my heart aches for those who live in complacency, when they were designed to burn". - bill johnson

"if you will make a history with God, He will change history with you".- bill johnson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"I'm Nattypood"

His sister had dressed him up like a girl and I was feeding him hummus and crackers to keep him still. This was the result: 

"now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates". - Life on the Mississippi- Mark Twain

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

I was excited to capture my favorite faces in the beautiful October sun with the new camera. I stepped into their backyard and was greeted by my favorite two year old shouting my name and running full force into my arms. There is no feeling like it. I dropped everything and scooped him up and swung him around. I plopped him back down on the ground anxious to see his lovely face, ready to capture every pixel of his beauty. I imagined the results, his big blue eyes, his blonde hair like a halo upon his head. I took one glance. He was filthy. He looked like Pig Pen. A plume of dirt followed him back to the sandbox where he immediately sat down and began digging and rolling, revealing a live earthworm he had planted there in the bed of a yellow dump truck. His brother, who had been on a Boy Scout camping trip the night before, was surrounded by his own plume. A little disappointed they were not in their matching seersucker smocked jumpers, holding hands and running through an open field. I could not resist capturing them as they were. Worms, dirt, hamsters and all.

Tate Mountain Porch Society

Angelique and I created this imaginary Society with imaginary duties and imaginary functions on this very real little porch. She is the President and I am the Parliamentarian. I am the Parliamentarian by request. I was the Parliamentarian in 5th Grade 4-H Club and I did nothing but open and shut the door. So that is my intent in serving in this position. Angelique's little cabin is the perfect place to convene. We have no rules, except to rest, and to eat. We did both. I had my little bunk underneath the Jesus picture and slept like a baby, warmed by the stone chimney with a fire ablaze a floor below me. We drove into Jasper to experience the Jasper Farmer's Market and prepared delicious meals, went for long walks and laughed on the front porch. We even went for a spin on the dirt bike and I giggled like a child the whole time as I clung on to Angelique as she lurched through the gears of the skinny two wheeled cycle.

I stopped in Woodstock and sold that Printer I bought for $175 to a man who looked like a preacher, but who I think may be an architect of some sort. I was late getting up to Tate and stopped at their lovely little Kroger that has a Starbucks in it and bought the ingredients for my Vegetarian Chili and a Quinoa Salad. I arrived in time for a small glass of wine and curled up on the sleeper sofa in front of a gentle fire in the fireplace and watched for the very first time, Slumdog Millionaire.
 The next morning Angelique and I strapped our camera's around our necks and I got to take my first photos with my brand new camera. It is impossible to take a bad photo at Tate.

After our walk around the lake we settled down to lunch on the porch.

We reconvened for dinner. I served in my position dutifully, opening and closing the door as we set and cleared the table. The President served in her role, making sure all glasses remained filled. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

situational irony

I have not really been in the mood to recap the past few weeks. I have not wanted to come here and admit defeat, share pain, disappoinment. But life is full of joy and pain. This recent season and has been extreme joy accompanied by extreme pain. Some of it was highlighted in my little time with Laura. A woman gave birth. Extreme pain. Extreme joy. A new baby in the house. A dad who has to go back to Iraq. Extreme joy. Extreme pain. On the same day I posted about how much I loved my life, my Uncle James took his. Extreme joy. Extreme pain. At a season where my life was good, appreciated, loved, a man I knew, a man 18 months younger than my father, who has dimples like mine, took his own life because his was unbearable. That hurts deeply. Then the silly little camera I blogged about below was stolen off my porch before I even got home to open it. Joy. Pain. The camera is being replaced. Uncle James is in Heaven. But he got robbed too. Horribly so. Handicapped, multiple sclerosis, a life of pain, depression, cancer survivor, lost everything he owned in a house fire months ago. He got robbed by the evil one. He is now healed. He is forgiven. There is joy in knowing that death has no sting or victory over us. We have been restored. We are one with the Father. But there is pain in watching him suffer, his family left without a father. I get angry. I cannot get angry at God. He is the good guy. He is the restorer. No poverty, no sickness, no injustice comes from the kind, loving Father. You can't give away what you don't have and He doesn't possess sickness, but life. I can go round and round with a million questions as to why. I ask it almost every day. But then I set my affections on His kindness, His faithfulness, His goodness and I turn my aggression to the evil one. I have his number. I know how he operates. He is slick. Sly. Ugly. Mean. Hateful. No good. Rotten. He wants me to blame the other guy. But that would mean I am taking sides with him. I refuse. I align all my affection, my faith, my hope, my future in Christ Jesus. That's the oldest trick in the book, to make it look like someone else did it. Job got blessed in the end. It is my prayer that James' family walk in the fullness of what Christ has for them, a double portion of it. And that every area of lack, be fully restored.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

100 Dreams: Part 3

rent/sell my house
work in Africa
volunteer with Covenant House
help joyce and sherri and yvette set up a non-profit
buy a favorite wine by the case
get a massage once a month for life
swim with dolphins again
hold Tamara Steiner's baby boy
have coffee with Helene Inga in Iceland

100 dreams: Part 1 & 2 revisited

live on a beach
get a great camera, capture faces and places
learn to sew
acquire a child
never have to work a 9-5 (or a 5 to Close)
go back to Zimbabwe, find Constance, hug her
write an article for Conde Nast
plant gardens in Africa
always have access to chocolate and coffee
see the dead raised
surf the west coast

publish a book
learn a foreign language
take cooking lessons and practice often
write songs
make music
set foot on every continent
research and eradicate global poverty
get a macbook pro
decorate an old house

Friday, October 1, 2010

Shopaholic Buys a Camera

Just moments ago I clicked "CONFIRM PURCHASE" on a sorta kinda high priced ticket item and I am  freaking out. I work hard for my money and as much as I love spending it, I prefer to do it in $19.95 increments. The big items freak me out a little. As you all know I have been wanting a Canon T1i. I don't know why I am so intent on this being the one and only one I want, but this is the case. I really don't just want it, I need it. Travel, Babies, they beckon me.

Amazon was offering a little deal, ending today, where you can add a particular Canon printer to your cart along with the purchase of a Canon Camera and you get a $400 Rebate. Granted the printer IS $400, but you basically get the printer for free, after purchase. I prefer to use printing websites, like Zenfolio, that allow you to upload, store, copyright, print and ship. So I don't want the printer and the additional hassle of paper and ink. I researched the printer on Craigslist and it appears that if I price mine just under $200 I can get rid of it. I hope. Even if I sell it for $100, it's free money. Right? My Capital One No Hassle Free Money for Spending Money recently accumulated to 30,000 Skymiles or $300 in Gift Certificates. I opted for the Gift Certificates and chose But then I spent $70 of it on a Sonicare Toothbrush because my sister said she would never go back to manual brushing and I suddenly realized that I was missing out on a whole new era of dental hygiene and I had to have one. So now my gift certificates were only $230. But here is my rationale: I pretty much HAD to get the camera because they were offering the rebate on the "free" printer. The sale of the "free" printer will give me up to an additional $200 off the camera. My total sell with the gift certificate was $868, subtract the rebate of $400 that I will get in 60 days and that's $468, then subtract the $200 that I plan to sell the printer for and that's $268, then subtract the $100 or so I plan to make at the Homeschoolers Family Picnic later this month taking family shots of the Fallin's and their friends and that's $168 for a Canon T1i. Now that's a bargain.