Monday, November 30, 2009

picture post

Attempting to take a picture of Great Lake Swimmers.
Succeeding in taking a picture of shiny lights and the back of two guys' heads.
How can anyone eat a product that advertises on it's own label that it is nasty?
Horse and Hound... it's real!
Birthday cupcakes!
My very first Victoria Sponge... completed successfully!

a warm wool coat

I've been looking for a long winter coat for at least a year. When the temperature dropped here the last couple weeks the search began again in earnest. But I couldn't find anything in the shops, charity or high-street. So I decided to look on ebay. I was a bit wary of buying clothes on ebay. I mean with other things it's pretty straightforward, but clothes not so much. You can't return them if they don't fit. But I decided to give it a go. This afternoon I bought this beautiful coat by Max Mara for probably about a tenth of it's original retail price. (I've never owned real designer clothes before so I'm rather excited!) Crossing my fingers that it fits, and planning which hat/scarf/mittens will look best with it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

red ribbon foxes

There’s snow on your collar

And boy, there’s snow on the bench.

There’s snow on the sleeping grain

And the crooked fence.

And if you’ve been cryin’

With my hand on my chest

I swear, I’ll never tell.

The town is a glow with lights,

A caroler sings.

Your sister won’t sleep tonight

For the morning creeps.

That old happy Christmas

You came here to find it,

I did as well.

For joy doesn’t come in boxes,

Nor peace in a heavy watch.

Those red ribbon foxes are not so easy caught,

But the search it never stops.

The son of a holy man

You dream of the saints,

So thin with your poet hands

And your eyes aflame.

And I’d like to kiss you,

Full on the mouth,

I don’t care if you tell.

For love doesn’t come in boxes,

Nor truth in a crowded shop.

Those red ribbon foxes are not so easy caught,

But the search it never stops.

For faith doesn’t come in boxes,

Nor God in a silver cross.

Those red ribbon foxes are not so easy caught.

But the search goes on and on,

The search, it never stops.

~ A Fine Frenzy

Monday, November 23, 2009

it's a boy!

Here he is:
William Reid Strite
Cutest little boy in the whole, wide world!
Due on April 29th, 2010

culture stress

"You feel tired, anxious, discouraged, isolated, angry, and homesick but cannot think of any reason why you should feel that way."

"Culture stress is the stress that occurs when you change to a different way of living in a new culture. It is what you experience as you move beyond understanding the culture to making it your own so that you accept the customs, becoming comfortable and at home with them. If you are trying to become a real part of the culture, to become bicultural, you are likely to experience culture stress as you assimilate some of the conventions to the point that they feel natural to you."

"Culture stress is the adjustment stage in which people accept the new environment, adopting new ways of thinking and doing things so that they feel like they belong to the new culture. This takes years, and some missionaries never complete it."

~from What Missionaries Ought to Know about Culture Stress by Ronald Koteskey

This is why I've been feeling so out of whack the last few weeks...


We shared communion on Sunday evening. Before we came to the Lord's table we took some time to reflect on what this sacrament meant to us. I landed on the word centering.

There is a spiritual act called centering which I don't know anything about. But as a potter I do know a lot about the act of centering clay.

When you first lob a ball of clay on the wheel it spins around like a dizzy three-year-old, all wobbly and out of whack. As the potter, your first job is to center the clay so that your pot will be sturdy and stable. To do this you begin by getting as close to the clay as you can. You want to place your center of gravity right over the clay. Then you surround the clay with your hands and ease it into alignment with constant and gentle pressure.

I was feeling a lot like a dizzy three-year-old throughout this past week. And on Sunday all the places where I had been knocked off center where painfully obvious to me. As we reflected on the Lord's table, remembering the sacrifice he made to come close to us, I could feel his hands surround me and, by exerting constant and gentle pressure, realign me with his center of gravity.

Friday, November 20, 2009

a happy list!

So here are a few things that have made me happy or excited in the last few days:

1) I found a copy of a book I've been wanting to read for a while for cheap in a charity shop. I love short stories, especially Irish short stories!
2) My new iPod came in the mail this morning. There's a big difference between 4gb and 8gb! I loaded it up with lots of music, so I thought, to find that it's only half full. Brilliant! So happy to have (portable) music back in my life!
3) Hiding in my electronics drawer I now have a bag of chocolate. Thanks Mom!
4) The wonderful Rosie made me this beautiful bag for my birthday. It's so lovely!!! And next to it, on the mantle, you can see the cans of pumpkin she sent me too! Pumpkin bars just in time for Thanksgiving! Yeah!!!
5) Thanks to a tutorial on youtube and a trip to Boots and some focused work my eyebrows have received some much needed attention. (It's hard to see the full effect here because of the lighting, but take my word for it that they are looking loads better.)
6) Just found out that LOST returns on February 2nd!
7) I absolutely loved the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, Holidaze. A bit emotional in a happy, holiday-ie sort of way.
8) We have some sunshine today! This is always to be celebrated in the British Isles during the winter.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

from ella minnow pea

In the sanctuary of my thoughts, I am a fearless renegade.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Get up, my dear friend,
fair and beautiful lover - come to me!
Look around you: Winter is over;
the winter rains are over, gone!
Spring flowers are in blossom all over
The whole world's a choir - and singing!
Spring warblers are filling the forest
with sweet arpeggios.
Lilacs are exuberantly purple and perfumed,
and cherry trees fragrant with blossoms.
Oh, get up, dear friend,
my fair and beautiful lover - come to me!
Come, my shy and modest dove -
leave your seclusion, come out in the open.
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice.
For your voice is soothing
and your face is ravishing."

"Then you must protect me from the foxes,
foxes on the prowl,
foxes who would like nothing better
than to get into our flowering garden."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

belfast sight seeing bus tour

This is the village area of Belfast.
The Clifton Street Orange Hall, you can see "King Billy" has turned... green!
Samson and Goliath in the former Harland and Wolfe shipbuilding yards.
The dry dock where Titanic was built.
Albert Memorial Clock, Belfast's leaning tower. And underneath this road runs the River Farset from which Belfast derives its name.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the end

I'm always so excited when I reach the end of one journal and get to start a new one. I started this one in October of 2008 so it's been just over a year. And now I get to use the beautiful one that Rosie made me for my birthday last year. Yeah!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

twenty seven

1650 - William III of Orange, king of England (1689-1702)

1879 - Will Rogers, Oologah Indian Territory (Okla), humorist

1916 - Walter Cronkite, St Joseph Mo, news anchor (CBS Evening News 1962-81)

1946 - Laura Bush, U.S. First Lady 2000-

1969 - Matthew McConaughey, actor (Contact, A Time to Kill)

1975 - Curtis Stone, Australian chef and television personality (Take Home Chef)

This is a list of famous people whose birthday is on November 4th. Coincidently that's my birthday too! And it's also my friend Kirstin, my friend John, my friend Emily, and my friend Noah's birthday. John is a year older than me, Emily a year younger. Kirstin's 25 and Noah is 3. Happy Birthday to you all!