Monday, December 26, 2011

what does your love look like?

The love for equals is a human thing--of a friends for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles. The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing--the love for those who suffer...this is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world. The love for the unfortunate is a rare thing--to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich...the world is always bewildered by its saints. And then there is the love for the enemy--love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens and inflicts pain. The tortured's love for the torturer. This is God's love. It conquers the world.
~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, December 15, 2011

since I can't actually be there

here are my favorite memories:

1. eating ABE pasta and watching home dec. shows
2. sipping tea at the St. James
3. rolling out cookie dough
4. washing dishes at our old house
5. learning to read ;-)
6. talking on the phone as I walk to school
7. shopping/trying on clothes for hours
8. watching you sew our indian costumes
9. Anne of Green Gables every time the guys left
10. learning how to sew
11. perms. for you, for me
12. 8:00 chats with you and whoever else would join us
13. staying up "super late" helping you pack for Clovis, cause I couldn't sleep =p
14. decorating with Nativities and celebrating Advent
15. Hot Cross Buns
16. Christmas school
17. talking late into the night on the patio
18. working puzzels
19. catalogue shopping
20. waking you up (that alone is special, haha) and you rubbing my legs for hours
21. friday night pizza night
22. tagging along to Mom's Meetings
23. flying to Nashville and exploring Franklin TN
24. baking with my Easy Bake
25. next time, long time
26. reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time
27. Sew Creative Club
28. making dinner on my own
29. letting me dress up and wear it all day long
30. SoufflĂ© and Cinnamon Rolls
31. Mother-Daughter Retreat
32. JoAnn's for hours!!
33. ABQ Uptown window-shopping
34. making snow ice cream
35. naps on the couch
36. scrapbooking
37. Ramen Noodle Salad
38. talking through my plans and all that I want to accomplish...
39. crochetting/coloring while you read to us after lunch
39. days at the library
39. getting you all dressed up to go out with Daddy
39. wrapping presents for you
39. making big breakfasts on Saturdays
39. designing kitchens just the way we'd like
39. looking through your wedding book and asking you again and again the names of the same people
39. shoe shopping
39. McAlisters
39. my first manicure
39. reading Love Comes Softly (all of them!) with Risse
39. pesto pizza

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

daily motivations; getting down to the basics

Tonight my roommates and I shared some verses from the past week that were particularly insightful to us. I thought it was great how they all pieced together (guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it was pretty awesome). here they are: 

Philippians 4:11-12
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

That means having the mindset of being thankful for everything, even when it's not what we would choose or how we wish it was--learning to find joy in ALL things.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

So in all our striving to be pretty, wear nice clothes, and fix-up our hair (which I do quite a lot of these days!!), we need to have the right motivation. Really, the spirit behind all the adornment is what needs to be in-check before hand...oh so much easier to write than to practice!

Jonah 2:8-9
 Those who pay regard to vain idols
    forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
   will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
    Salvation belongs to the LORD!

And then what we set up as gods is all for not. We need to organise our lives in a way that first and formost brings honor and glory to God (that is what our chief end is to begin with!). Only then will our loves come together rightly, and we are freed to flourish as the best we are made to be.

Ps. 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

grecian woman

Wrapped in folds of cloth draping over the shoulder, she stands. Both feet flat on the ground and strapped into sandals. Belted, the robe gathers and crinkles to the stone. Her hair is braided around like a crown, intermingled with a vine or two. Time has deepened the creases in her skin and stolen appendages—once she had hands whitened smooth to hold.  Now a board of sundry tools is perched in the crook of an elbow. But for a moment she is caught contemplating. Eyes cast down, a smile plays at the corners of the lips, but the sincerity of life tugs at the joy and damps the sparkle of life.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

history as myth

“History can become myth; myth can become history...Myths are not created by an individual but by the retelling of stories in different contexts—bedtime stories, public performances, visual representations—until they become part of the ‘cultural heritage’ of society...[myths are] about the telling of stories for pleasure, even if those stories also have a deeper meaning; history ostentatiously claims to be concerned wit the truth of what happened, regardless of whether is makes a good story or has any deeper meaning.”
Morley, The Writing of Ancient History

In history class, we have trekked through the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars and begun to see the parallels between Herodotus and Thucydides, comparing the ancient “myths.” These two examples of ancient histories deal with events and people of the past, relating details regarding the world wars that were raging, but in two very distinctive styles; one is description-rich and the other explains the motivations for war.

Some people might say that Herodotus dwells on outlandish details, while Thucydides simply states the “facts.” This estimation, however, is not correct. Both of these men represent what they see as the important details. After all, history ultimately isn’t about what really happened in the past but what people choose to remember—it’s a matter of people passing on tales of bravery and adventure, losses and victories, accomplishments and trials. Thucydides is concerned with getting to the bottom of the issues and analyzing military tactics, political nuances, and motivations behind actions. Herodotus, on the other hand, wants his reader to be able to identify specific places and understand the customs of the people he deals with. His tone is that of a grandpa telling epic adventures to his grandkids. He lays out a very broad scope of the hostilities and skirmishes between nations, but never delves into policy or devotes precious page-space to public affairs causing the war.

These two have become legend. How much of what is recorded really happened (how could Herodotus know so much about the fantastic? And there are so many verbatim speeches in Thucydides…those can’t be word for word, can they?). Neither of them is truer than the other; they are told from different perspectives. They have been passed down through the ages, mythic in nature. Enjoy the sagas and continue their legacies.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


(it's about time, right?!)

"We are a spectacular, splendid manifestation of life. We have language and can build metaphors as skillfully and precisely as ribosomes make proteins. We have affection. We have genes for usefulness...and, perhaps best of all, we have music." Lewis Thomas, Medusa and the Snail

moniker- a name

what I do outside of school:

Sunday, November 6, 2011

...or something like that

Fortune suddenly smiled upon Cait, and dropped a brillant idea in her path. Not her homework, exactly, but I doubt if half a million would have given more real happiness then did the inspiration that came to her in these wee hours.

Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and "fall into a vortex," as she expressed it, writing away at her paper with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace. Her "scribbling suit" consisted of fur and leather slippers, athletic pants, and a gray sweatshirt, adorned with a hood of great depths, into which she could bundle her hair when the decks were cleared for action. This hood was a beacon to the inquiring eyes of her roommates, who during these periods kept their distance, merely texting smily-faces semi-occasionally to ask, with interest, Does genius burn, Cait? They did not always venture even to ask this question, but took an observation of the ponytail and WMP, and judged accordingly. If this expressive article of dress was drawn low upon the forehead, it was a sign that hard work was going on, in exciting moments it was pushed rakishly askew, and when despair seized the author strands were twisted and pulled, and pinned up and un-done and once again tied back. At such times the intruder silently withdrew, and not until the unruly curls were seen gaily atop the freckled brow, did anyone dare address Cait.

She did not think herself a genius by any means, but when the writing fit came on, she gave herself up to it with entire abandon, and led a blissful life, unconscious of want, care, or bad weather, while she sat safe and happy in an imaginary world, full of friends almost as real and dear to her as any in the flesh. Sleep forsook her eyes, meals stood untasted, day and night were all too short to enjoy the happiness which blessed her only at such times, and made these hours worth living, even if they bore no other fruit. The devine afflatus usually lasted a week or two, and then she emerged from her `vortex', hungry, sleepy, cross, or despondent.

***i figured y'all would notice, but this is mostly Allcot's work, I just substituted my own description. I don't want to take credit for what's not mine, just sayin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

frozen for a moment

Autumn here in Moscow is so different than it is back home; there are no chilies, no short-sleeved runs to Nana's, no balloons streaking rainbows in the sky, no bright sunny mornings on the patio. How to capture a season when words don't feel adequate? the magnificence of watching a town blooming and green, turn overnight into streets littered with papery carnage.

The sun has ducked under the equator, stealthily out of range for six months. And even Thor is out of a job here in the northland when droplets fall suddenly from the gray sky. Farmer's Market stays locked behind greenhouse doors; life has been sucked from the square fountain and lights are draped in the branches downtown: twinkles to befriend the gloomiest of hearts. Swirling wind twists among the frozen grasses, around sharp corners, and down branches as the Gandalf-like puffs braid a silent magic into the hearts of the herbs and weeds. Veins once running with resin, flush gold in the still green body of a leaf. The edges curl like a treasure map singed with the flames of fire. Trees loose their covering, spreading yellow and brown, orange and red with the neighbors, leaves slicken the sidewalks and clutter around doorsteps. Petunias fight the chill, dripping golden in the puddles. Curls are pulled back over my shoulder and into my eyes. Breath freezes on my lips. A car passes, a smile, a wave. The light blinks on and I cross the street. Sweaters absorb the cold and seep to the middle of my bones. Shivers creep up my arm and though my neck. My coffee is no longer iced. Scarves aren't too hot anymore and help to hide fading freckles. Flipflops stay inside.

Moments like these will all too soon be gone forever, forgotten under drifts of snow, melting with drops of rain. This time in a year, I will be home amongst the evergreens and clear blue skies--back to the crisp warm rays of summer's end. And I'll try to remember experiencing a real "autumn" but simply painting a slosh of water or a dash of cider-green to what I've grown up with just won't get it right.
It's just color. It's just more than that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rediscovering joy;
I scuffle through wrinkles of fallen color,
Decay flutters about my feet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy Loving Spirit, Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in tHee inherit, Let us find Thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

...the fire of fall is here...

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's a marvelous morning

a cinnamon roll and coffee with my friend; a talk with my Mother Dear and sister; a clean kitchen and laughing roommates; a creative paper assignment and the morning free to study.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Psalm 5- Douglas Wilson
Give ear, O Lord, to all my thoughts and words, now hear my crying. Please hear my voice, my King, my God, for unto Thee I offer my prayers at dawn, O Lord, You hear; You hear when night is dying. Hear my praying and know that I look up to Thee; my heart I proffer.

For You are not a God who winks at evil in Your dwelling; And You can take no pleasure in the sins of evildoing. You hate those men who love their sin, those men who lied are telling; You destroy them. The Lord abhors their bloody and deceitful choosing.

But as for me I come to You, and in Your house you found me, and all Your mercies crowd me in; I come in fear to tremble. Lead me, O Lord, in righteousness; my enemies surround me. In Your presence make straight Your paths as we within Your house assemble.

THeir mouths are foul, their inward parts are nothing but corruption. Their throats are open tombs and graves; they flatter with their speaking, destroy them, God, and bring them down to end their vile seductions. Hear my praying, for they resist your law. Rebellion they are seeking.

But let those men who trust in You, rejoice and sing forever because You are their Shield and Wall, their God and High Defender. No danger in the world can yet from You Your loved ones sever. Bless the righteous; we joy in You alone and to Your love surrender.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

from the abundance of my heart

55. sweet laughter
59. encouraging sermons
67. cheesecake and cookies
69. constant mother-love
72. a clean house and new look. organization
73. older and wiser women giving their time to teach me
74. blue jeans
75. curls

Saturday, August 13, 2011

taste and see

"God knew that we were going to need to pick up the dimes, and so He gave us fingernails. He knew that twilights displayed in blue, apricot, and battle gray would be entirely astonishing and beyond us, and so He gave us eye that can see in color. He could have made all food quite nourishing, but which tasted like wadded up newspaper and soaked in machine oil. Instead He gave us the tastes of watermelon, pecans, oatmeal stout, buttered corn, apples, fresh brea, grilled sirloin, and twenty-five-year-old scotch. And He of course knew that we were going to need to thank Him, and so He gave us hearts and minds."

-Douglas Wilson
Is Christianity Good for the World?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

paradoxical beauty

hands. Ever since my drawing teacher showed me how to trace my hand with a via-vis marker under a transparent sheet of plastic, I have been intrigued by people's hands. soft, pudgy, sticky. wrinkly and skilled. rich-veined, muscular, and creased thick. sun-whethered, hardened with love. slender, mangled, cold. Each hand tempered by cares of life.

My uncle once said that you can tell a lot about someone by their hands. I was was skeptical for a while, really? are people's hands that different? I was on a mission.

What makes someone's hands admirable? Obviously it would be the super soft and flawless ones that stand out, right? Actually no. (and if you look, there's really very few that are immaculate--and they always left me wondering what was wrong with the person!) Often times I was drawn to the chunky, oily, ink-stained, calloused, warped, decrepit ones. That just me, I wonder? "You could be a hand-model," I have had people say to me. "He obviously works hard," and "she's done this a time or two before," I know I've noted. But why? Grime and jewels both make features unforgettable; I don't understand. Shouldn't one be gorgeous and the other dirty? How can practical utility combine with the fine and graceful to incite love and respect?

Some hands gorgeous though aged with callouses. Others are ringed in silver and gold or soiled and crude. Long nails, painted nails, chewed nails, broken nails, they come in all shapes and sizes. Bulky knuckles and sweaty palms, blisters, warts, and cuticles. Hands are pretty typical. There's five fingers on every one, each triple-jointed member having a different name--but individual fingerprints for every person that's ever lived. Hands scrub dishes and kneed bread, calculate numbers and fold laundry; hands dig in the dirt and write letters; the hands that wipe noses and repair mechanics--and yet none of these are more or less honorable than the ones that fly over a keyboard, or tangle hair into a braid, or provide for a family. Each of us are called to different tasks and with these tasks comes particular loveliness.

With age comes beauty, but also wisdom. When a person's hands are scarred and crooked with arthritis there's got to be a story (more than one, most likely!). Some have deformities and others are "perfect," but what's so cool is that God loves them all and we should be able to find that in them as well. With our modern ideals of perfection and diamond allure, it's all too easy to lose sight of what is truly important in favor of what we think to be beautiful. Maybe it's time to take a minute and learn from those who have seen more than you. Commonly you can read a life's story if you look closely.

Hands are also vessels of love. Through them so much emotion is communicated. From conversation aids and game-winning gestures to high-fives and a thoughtful squeeze, hands can say a lot, I'd say more than words. It's pretty interesting. Next time you're at a coffee shop take a sec and see what people do with their long dangling (and admittedly awkward) appendages. There's the shy folding and un-folding of hands, the coffee cup huggers, the fast and furious scribblers and many others for you to discover. Enjoy the strange beauty!

So what is this beauty that is both simple to find and hard to describe? It's not found in the object itself, there are both pretty and creepy hands that accomplish the same tasks. Can it be found in the person? I don't think so. Tasks don't make hands what they are, but they do contribute to it. If a person never washed sinkload after sinkload of dishes, they would never know what it was like to have prune-hands and witness the slow disappearance of the water-logged ridges. Someone who has never permed hair and used harsh chemicals and hot curling irons will never know what it's like to have numbed finger-tips. and on and on the list goes. Life comes at us in so many directions with countless twists and turns, shaping who we are and what our hands look like and are skilled in doing. Yes, everyone has a certain deftness to their hands--even if that is nothing but the moving of a joystick and clicking of buttons. It's what you do with your life that will crease and fashion your hands into what they will be.

What do you want your hands your hands to say about you? What story are they already telling? (this is not to make your self-concious about your own hands, but I do notice.... =p)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

summer pt4

she's my sister:

summer pt3

the arts:

(guest bathroom)

summer pt2

the culinary side:
or at least the dishes I took pictures of...

you know better than anyone, it's the recipes that you make up yourself that are the best.

spinach pasta

lemon bread and apple strudel (capon style)


cookies/blondies/brownies/cakes etc.


soft pretzels

summer pt1

Over Christmas break Marissa and I painted our bathroom (changing it from the lime green to more subtle blue and brown). It was painted, but not finished. I finally got the stripes up and curtains done.

East Coker (second quartet)

~T.S. Eliot

The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood--
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

from the abundance of my heart

34. expectation of new and old friends coming to stay this week
35. gold, charcoal, diamond jewelry
36. little blonde friends
37. ankle-length skirts that swish
38. brothers who make me remember life's not about me
39. a sister who is always down for talking with me
40. reading books to strengthen and challenge me walk with the Lord
41. mint ice cream
42. orange nail polish

Thursday, June 23, 2011

its about time...

that i get around to seeing some NM history, landmarks, and important places.

Did you know that we have the oldest capitol city in the USA? yep.

Our day in Santa Fe started with meeting some friends at the Santa Fe Opera House for a behind-the-scenes tour. Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures in several of the stops...the Opera was one of them. It was fascinating though. So much goes on backstage--costume sewing/beading/fitting/creating, prop fabricating, musical practice/coaching, wig making, stage settings, lighting, and strict time management in order for everything to run together smoothly.

Afterwards we went to a french bakery that a dear friend works at, Clafoutis.

Following the Croque Madame (a grilled ham and gruyere cheese topped with a fried egg), we headed down town to the Plaza and The Palace of the Governors and an authentic print shoppe (still operating! apparently if you are there around Christmas you can make cards yourself).

Native American silver and turquoise and other semi-precious stone jewelry for sale spread out on blankets (these vendors line most of the plaza!)

a strange little door cut into huge double doors.

the boys and Judith

baskets of petunias hanging on the street lights of downtown


The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

The Loretta Chapel

the mysterious staircase (no nails, no middle support, unidentifiable wood, nameless carpenter, and originally no railing....until the nuns complained...lolol)


New Mexican art, what can I say?