Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the commute...

Now that we're living on the southside, I'm spending alot more time in the car driving to and from work. This is probably the primary downside of our move, but it's a small price to pay to be able to use this house for the time being. In order to make the drive more bearable, I've been listening to books on cd. I've always enjoyed passing time in the car this way and Luke and I often listen to books on cd whenever we are driving any sort of distance.

A couple weeks ago I listened to, "I like you: Hospitality under the Infuence" by Amy Sedaris. It was very humorous and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Amy Sedaris is extremely witty (although somewhat crass at times) and while the book is hilarious, it also offers some helpful tips and interesting party ideas.:) Last week I listened to, "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clark. It was a great listen. I really like the movie and was interested to to hear the book that it was based off of. The forward offered an interesting aspect to the book and movie combo; apparently Stanley Kubrick (who directed the movie) decided that he wanted to make a sci-fi movie about man's place in the universe and so he came to Clark and requested that he write a book for him to make movie out of. Kubrick was pretty involved in the writing of the book. From what I understand they were writing the screenplay at the same time as the book. I just found it interesting that the book was written in order to make a movie. Anyway, the book is great and it makes a great companion to the movie. Where the movie is somewhat vague and mysterious, the book goes into detail about the thought processes of David Bowman & Hal etc. Both are excellent by themselves, but together they make a great pair.:)

This week I'm listening to "Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin. I'll let you kow how it is.:) I love that my work let's us check things; we usually have a decent selection of books on cd, so I should have plenty to report on in the coming months.:)

Monday, April 20, 2009

thoughtful communication

I recently read an article in a Yoga Journal magazine concerning a topic I have devoted some thought to in my life: the words we speak, how they affect others and the value of silence. To quote the article: “Our bodies and subconscious minds hold the residue of every kind or cruel word we’ve ever taken in.” The article takes a more metaphysical approach than I want to get into, but the crux of what they are saying is important to understand as we live our lives. The words we say have the ability to build up or damage those within hearing distance. Words have a power that should not be taken lightly.

I have often been hassled about my tendency towards quietness and the fact that I don’t necessarily like to talk a lot. I won’t pretend that this is a conscious decision on my part, it’s really just my nature/personality, but I will say that if I don’t have something to say, you probably won’t find me running my mouth. It took me years to become even remotely adept at small talk (something I still struggle with) and it wasn’t until my college years that I really felt comfortable talking to a stranger. I don’t see much point in talking just for the sake of talking. That being said, I don’t judge people who are naturally more outgoing than me (shyness can be a bit of a curse in our society), however I don’t have much patience for those who feel the need to constantly fill silence. I happen to enjoy a bit of quiet once in awhile. I value it. And I will admit that it is one of the reasons I was attracted to Luke; he didn’t feel the need to talk all the time or to impress me; we both understand the meaning of companionable silence. There have been times in my life where I wished to be a better conversationalist, but overall I have learned to accept my own communication style.:)

Whether you are a quiet person or a talkative outgoing person, the article offered some good, practical advice to consider and to help a person think before speaking. Consider these three questions: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? These questions are of course somewhat open to personal discretion (depending on your definition of these things), but they do provide an excellent guideline for us as we consider our words. Imagine if we took the time to answer these questions before speaking? How many remarks would we keep to ourselves? The flip side of this is that there are times when we should speak because it is necessary, but where we might try to convince ourselves otherwise (a particular dilemma for Christians). Asking ourselves these questions should help us evaluate when to speak and when not to speak.

Several years ago I made a conscious decision to try to say something positive when a person I knew came up in conversation (particularly when this had a negative tone). I know I haven’t stuck to this 100%, but after awhile it became somewhat second nature and something I still attempt to abide by. I have much to learn and progress to make with my words, but thinking about it is at least a start. I need to challenge myself more about this and strive towards wisdom and discretion in my conversation habits. Let’s start changing our thought patterns in an attempt to be more thoughtful speakers.

ode to an iron skillet

I love my iron skillet- If I could choose only one pot/pan in my kitchen, it would be my iron skillet. This may be due, in part, to the fact that Luke and I love breakfast food for any meal of the day and that the iron skillet is perfect for eggs, sausage, bacon, even french toast or pancakes. Early in our marriage, I introduced Luke to my version of the egg sandwich and the rest is history (they are pretty much a staple for us:). My iron skillet is the most used pan in my kitchen and I've found it to be extremely versatile. The iron skillet is the perfect tool for browning meat, sauteing vegetables, grilling chicken or fish, frying rice... you name it. It is easy to use and easy to clean, which is a winning combination.:) I use my iron skillet so often that I don't even have a place for it in a cabinet, it just sits atop the stove waiting to be put into service.
So here's to you iron skillet! You make my kitchen happier, my breakfast tastier and my life easier.:)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the time has come...

for the big move. This Saturday is our moving day. We've already made alot of progress and brought a few loads of stuff down in an effort to expidite things this weekend. Of course there is still plenty of packing to finish up-- not the least of which is my kitchen.:( Things are getting done though, and I know everything will work out alright.
I'm not going to lie, moving sucks. It's alot of effort and very tiring. This one lacks the usual excitement of new surroundings and bigger and better things, but we feel so grateful for this temporary solution. The one thing I always like about moving though, is being able to go through things and rid ourselves of uneccessary stuff. Even though we moved just a year ago, we had accumulated so much again. So far we've brought 3 large bags of clothing etc to goodwill and sold 6 paper bags worth of books, dvds, cds etc to half price books (the benefit of that being a bit of cash:).
Other than all the hooplah that moving entails, we've: filed our taxes, moved my studio to share with another artist, enjoyed last weekend with my longtime friend Samantha & her boyfriend, caught up on Lost, started the fantasy baseball season (this applies only to Luke:), attended a roller derby... and generally kept very busy. We've appreciated everyones prayers and support as we go through this challenging time and try to understand what's next.