Twelve Pies

January 10, 2008

Twelve Pies is the new blog.

Moving on

November 14, 2007

Today marked the end of La Vie Bohème and my return to the 9-5 life.

This time at home with minimal employment was necessary and good. I got the rest I needed and was able to sort out some conflicting thoughts on what I wanted to do with life.

The new job is temporary and if it doesn’t lead to a permanent job, it will at least serve as a catalyst for this moving on.

Today also marks the end of the Year at Home blog. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Grateful for November

November 11, 2007

The Grateful for November posts have been moved to their own page.

The page will (probably) be updated daily during the month of November.


November 10, 2007

The Simplest Apple Tart

Smitten Kitchen recently posted a great recipe for apple tart.

This tart is simply made, but not so simply baked before eaten.

Can you resist pie crust dough?


November 8, 2007

There is not enough time in the day only when one tries to do it all.

Or so I am discovering.


November 6, 2007

Combat Baby

Sam and Chicken Wire Man

My oldest brother, Andrew, is finishing up his B.A. at the University of Iowa. Business is his major, and art is what he does, as he says, to stay sane. A few weeks ago I was at the apartment he shares with my other older brother, Ethan, and after a while noticed a set of Andrew-sized, chicken wire legs standing in the corner. The next weekend the legs came home, attached to a torso and additional limbs. Then, this past weekend a friend and I ended up at the uni art center where we found the legs, torso and additional limbs with clothes and shoes, and Andrew on his back up on a table with his face buried under layers of plaster. When we left several hours later, he was casting his hands in wax.

The statue was a part of an assignment that required the artist to represent himself in the form and surface of a statue. As I walked around, looking at the other projects, I had this intense, sleep deprivation induced feeling of pity for Andrew’s classmates. I learned quite early in life that to replicate anything of Andrew’s was to set myself up for massive failure. Even if the project was not originally such a great idea (i.e. baking Bethany’s flour/water/sugar batter over a heat register), it was inevitable that even his minimal success would dwarf your own simply because his initial enthusiasm for the project would have shifted ages ago to something bigger and better.

Standing there in the middle of the art studio, surrounded by other students’ statues, I couldn’t imagine having the hard luck of being a classmate of Andrew’s, devoting a huge portion of my life to a B.A. in art, only to see him come in “to stay sane” in the middle of a business degree, and …well, be Andrew.

My Parents

November 2, 2007

My mom and I are sitting at her computers, side by side. Dad walks into the room and says my mom’s name as he hands her something. From the way he says her name and the way she responds (“Ohhh! …Thank you…”), I turn around looking for the deep color of maybe a rose, but am confronted with the sight of a circa 1960s electrical plug with two inches of cord.


October 28, 2007

The wedding was lovely. Both the bride and the groom shed tears, which made it an even more happy occasion, and they kissed without the preacher even telling them to. As they walked from the church to the limo we all waved sparklers and cheered.

My date wore an exceptionally well-tied tie and did not, thanks to his foresight, clash with my new little black dress. He also had the brilliant idea of playing battleship on paper while we waited for the reception to begin and this, along with the chocolate fountain, made the wait quite enjoyable.

Then we ventured out and saw the Fruit of the Loom walking down the street.

Washington, Part 1: Quilts

October 25, 2007

Grammie, matching and stacking quilt squares

About a month ago, Grammie and I were sitting on the floor of her living room trying to figure out what to do with the remaining two sizes of quilt squares from my Grandma (my mom’s mom). Yes, there turned out to be three different sizes of quilt squares in that batch.

We decided to start laying out and sewing the smaller (and fewer) of the two. With the larger ones we matched and stacked sets of four.

More to come…

Also Nothing Quite As Nice As…

October 24, 2007

…three good friends finding one in the far-corner classroom after a way-too-large-for-this-one-girl-class ended, and spiriting one off to the library where one finds a Moosewood cookbook (recently discovered here) in the sale bin.

Nothing Quite As Nice

October 23, 2007

There’s nothing quite as nice as getting a phone message from a friend who was just calling to say hi. Especially if that phone message happened to have been left as one’s students are requesting to listen to the Sailors Love the Wind! jazz chant for the third time.

… and Guest

October 22, 2007

This weekend a friend from college is getting married!

The invitation was to me and “Guest,” and I sent back the (somewhat confusing) RSVP card saying there would indeed be two. I RSVP’d near the beginning of the month and since then I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I need to actually find that Guest. Usually Guest implies a spouse, significant other, or a random date you got by advertising for one on Craig’s List. Lacking a spouse and significant other, I’m this far away from posting an ad.

What is the correct way for a girl to go about getting a date for a wedding? Should I first approach the close guy friends and brothers? Would it be a bad idea/inappropriate to ask someone who I don’t really know (especially if it would require air travel)? There could be some possible downsides to this, besides it being kind of too late…: a) boredom, b) the endless opportunities for really awkward situations, c) giving any variety of “wrong impressions”, d) etcetera.

Other options include a [edit: going with a] girlfriend*, or just going solo, both of which would be fine.

*(I’ve always thought that using the word “girlfriend” in reference to female friends was kind of awkward, until a few years ago when I met an East Coast girl who frequently used the term. I liked hearing it and have since picked it up. Once it came in handy while in another country: I’d given my card to a guy who was also from another country, and he called me a few days later, asking if we could meet up again that night. I was not interested in meeting up with him and I told him I was out of town with my girlfriends, which I was. There was silence on the other end. “Oh. Your girlfriend?” He asked. “Uh, yeah. My girlfriend[soft “s”]” I said. The conversation came to an abrupt end.)


October 20, 2007

Through a Mason Jar

Photo by Sarah

Some highlights from the week:

~ Finally getting to meet Elijah! He brought along a few albums of his pictures, and as usual, the vivid pictures of life made me want to travel again.

~ Working out some details on a video project my brother, Andrew, asked me to help him with. It’s been a few years since I’ve worked with video, and talking about it, working out the storyboard was …exhilerating? Maybe because we were drinking pots of tea, and coffee, and surrounded with good friends.

~ Driving west through open fields and rolling hills at dusk, when the sky is huge, and filled with indescribable shades of blue.

Some thoughts from the week:

~ In August, Boundless Webzine published an article by Jenny Schroedel entitled Friendship Between Women. In it she refers to something Plato apparently said,

“Be kind to everyone you meet, for everyone is waging a terrible internal battle.”

This week has held a few bitter tears; times of being entirely alone. These are moments when it’s difficult to push through to the other side. In her wonderful book Gifts from the Sea, A.M. Lindbergh writes that contrary to popular thought, every man is, in fact, an island. I believe it’s true, and because of this it’s important that I not escape those moments of painful aloneness, but to be fully in them, working through hopelessness ~ alone.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who goes through moments like this. And while it’s impossible to share the pain of aloneness, those who understand are kind, knowing well the terrible internal battle. It’s something I often forget to do, be, for others.

~ During a few long drives this week, I thought a lot about the balance between striving, and yielding. Is balance moderation?


October 19, 2007

Sarah, through a Mason Jar

Moving on from glasses of water.

One of my favorite things to do is make Sarah laugh. Another favorite thing to do is tickle her, but as I can no longer hold both of her hands with one of mine, this is becoming a bit more of a challenge.

Remember to Laugh

October 18, 2007

Sometimes life and all it brings is so overwhelming and strange and absurd that there’s nothing left to do but smile until laughter breaks out.

Off, a Bit

October 16, 2007

My left thumb nail is mutilated. I managed to slice off only a small portion of my thumb, and a larger portion of the nail, which has been hanging on until today, when it gave up and demanded to be disposed of.

Several years ago the nail on my left big toe was mutilated by a kilo of ice cream during a misunderstanding between me and a Turkish ice-cream merchant. We both let go of the massive block of ice cream at the same time. It landed on my toe.

I feel kind of off balance with these mutilated left big toe and thumbnails.

Speaking of being off balance, there is a mirror in the bathroom of one of the buildings where I work that is off kilter. This normally doesn’t bother me, but this one kind of does because it’s screwed into the wall.

24 Hours

October 15, 2007

Teacup from my Mama and the recently aquired thermos

Both a part of my getting-through-winter-at-home plan.

List of exciting things that have happened in the past 24 hours:

~ Sleeping in, blissfully, until 8:15 this morning.

~ Plans changing, which makes Chicago look like a less remote possibility for this weekend. (Hurray!) We’ll see.

~ Slicing off a quarter of my left thumbnail with a cheese slicer.

~ Watching just how far $9.00 can go at Goodwill’s $0.25 sale.

A House Overflowing

October 13, 2007

One in a long series, taken while Sarah was doing schoolwork

originally uploaded by aioa.

(If you’re listed as one of my contacts on Flickr you can see the rest of the photos.)

This past year at least nine of my friends have gotten married. Some of them are already celebrating their first anniversaries.

Time, as my Korean host mother puts it, flies like an arrow.

I’ve been lucky to have close friends who are in places similar to my own, and have felt only a strange mixture of loneliness and relief when comparing myself to recently married girlfriends.

The other day I was contemplating this lack of envy and decided that it might have something to do with there being no babies around yet. Then, last night at Susanna’s going-away-to-bootcamp bonfire (wow, I remember when she was the baby) a newly-wed couple came waving a much-handled ultrasound photo.

But then, it’s hard to be envious when a new life, a new baby is involved, isn’t it?

Yesterday, as I was attempting, in vain, to make some solid decisions about My Future, I started an email to a friend who had recently told me of her plans for the next five or so years. They are plans befitting her capabilities and devotion to greater good, and I was marveling at her focus, her desires and her outline for achieving them.

“In a few years you’ll have to come to visit for a vacation,” I wrote. “You can take some time off and recharge at my house, which will by then…”

And there I stopped. I stopped because I was going to write, “…which will by then be, I hope, overflowing with children.”

Then I couldn’t continue because of two thoughts:

1. How in the world could one expect to take time off and recharge at a house overflowing with children? (It made perfect sense with my friend in mind, actually.)

2. A house overflowing with children? I’d meant to convey to her in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way that I had no such ambitious goals, but when I stopped I realized with a mental start that a house overflowing with children is a desire that started when I was quite small and is one that has never really left me, try as I may to forget it.

Maybe it is, after all, quite ambitious.

Thinking About: The Week

October 12, 2007

~Tortas. Near where I work there is a Mexican grocery with a tiny restaurant in the back. The perfect place to take yourself out for lunch, especially if you’re a bit tired of dining ensemble.

~Decisions. Everything is on indefinite hold until I make a few major decisions about life path. Leave the country for reasons a, b, or c? Go to grad school for a, b, or c? Buy a house? Rent an apartment? Move closer to friends in big cities? Buy a cow? Get that job? Stay?

~Perfume Oils from the Body Shop, which, prompted by friends, I’ve started to use instead of deodorant. Earthy, as one of my brothers put it.

~Students. The two 18-year-old high school drop-outs who are tattooed and a bit scrawny. They’re respectful, motivated, and smart. The late twenty-something who does well when I walk him through every question, but can’t seem to get 50% when he’s on his own. What makes them different? What’s going on in their brains? What will happen to them?

~Working hard. I’m back in that groove where Fridays are a letdown. Am just getting going in this work-mode, finding satisfaction in a job well done, and a day well spent, when the weekend rolls around and everything stops. Am ready for a major change.

~My Dad’s arms around me. My Dad and I went for a walk together on Monday. He put his arm around me in a tight, reassuring embrace and spoke words I’ve been needing to hear.


October 12, 2007

It’s that time of year when “refrigerate for one hour,” means, “leave at room temp for 20 min.”

“Hit By a Truck”

October 8, 2007

There are bruises on my knees, arms, shins, and waist. There is dirt under my nails and straw caked into the dirt on my sandals. My jeans will soon no longer be in a heap on my floor, but they’re still sopping wet and caked with mud. There’s an unrelenting ibuprofen-masked headache somewhere back in my brain. A mad whirl of thoughts behind a thick calm.

How was my weekend?

It was great.



October 3, 2007

Looking east

Today John and I went to morning mass.

Connecting Threads

October 2, 2007

Today I spent a few hours with a good friend who fed me her delicious potato soup, and sent me home with a bag full of clothes from a recent closet purge. Most of my clothes come from the overabundance of my friends’ closets, which is so nice because shopping can be a huge drain ~ and usually leaves me with a headache. There’s something much nicer about a stack of cast-off clothing, a cup of French-pressed coffee, and an hour or so of trying on and discussing previous and future alterations of a particular garment, and the story behind it. There’s always a story; the place it came from, the person who admired it, the reason it didn’t survive the purge, the reason I should have it.

One of my friends once went into (inebriated) detail about his relationship with his (very expensive) clothing. At the time it was merely amusing to listen to him go on and on about the shirt as an extension of himself, and while I perhaps wouldn’t go that far, clothes are rarely just something to wear and I suppose I do tend to have a connection with clothing that has a story behind it.

Have you ever had a connection with a piece of clothing?


September 28, 2007

The past few months I’ve had an acute sense of distance. Specifically the distance between me and people with whom I wanted to be.

On Sunday I’ll start the long journey back to the Midwest from the West Coast where I’ve spent the past week and will feel again, quite acutely, the space between me and people I love.

List of Things I Didn’t Do By Tuesday

September 18, 2007

~ Bake 12 pies
~ Dance
~ Become good at math


September 17, 2007

This weekend Sarah and I went climbing at an indoor climbing gym with some friends, and we brought along 3 of our brothers. The guys and their friends got no small amount of enjoyment out of the phrase “our sisters took us climbing.” One of their friends called up his buddies in Colorado to tell them. Just goes to show what a little dedication gets you. : smile :

It was a good group, and really fun to spend that kind of time with my brothers. It’s quite a bonding experience, putting your life in someone’s hands.

This weekend while everyone was occupied with other routes, I hooked into an auto-belay and spent a while climbing up a crack, something I’ve never done. I started small, focusing my hands in the crack with feet on the climbing holds. There’s something about doing a route over and over that, though it seems boring, is actually quite exciting. I suppose every day I’ve spent climbing includes something new, some thrill, but this time I felt a sort of calm confidence. It wasn’t something someone could have looked watched me do and admired, but it was a personal accomplishment, a knowing, a foothold to something bigger.

List of Things to Do Before Tuesday:

September 13, 2007

~Bake 12 pies.
~Become good at math.

Who Wants to Know?

September 12, 2007

It’s the second hour of the evening ESL class, and we’re moving into the grammar exercises.

I am writing out the section and exercise numbers on the board and several students point out that the numbers are wrong. I laugh, and say I work with letters, not numbers.

Then, from the left side of the table there comes a question. “Are you [something incomprehensible], teacher?”

The question comes from a woman who, the last time we talked, went into uncomfortable detail about a recent surgical operation. I turn around, warily, and ask, “Am I what?”

She repeats the question a few times, and I think I understand her, but I don’t want to. We’ve just started grammar exercises and I find it an inappropriate time and place to inquire into my marital status.

Someone helpful chimes in. “Are you lonely, like, do you have a boyfriend?”

Looking back, I see that her question wasn’t entirely off topic. After all, we were studying possessives.

“My Last Date Was a Neat Freak”

September 9, 2007

Cynthia Beaudette is a reporter for the local paper. We met a few years ago and had a great conversation about writing.

I tend to find reporters a little intimidating, partly because they’re making a living at what I spent 4 years studying but am not doing, and partly because they can write whatever they want about you. And publish it for an audience of actual readers. Yes, okay, so at a certain point writing whatever one wants to about someone in a newspaper is against the law, but sometimes even if reporters write word-for-word what you told them, that’s bad enough.

While Cynthia was still intimidating because she’s an actual reporter and was writing about me, she responded nicely to my cross-interview and made the whole ordeal quite painless.

Cynthia recently wrote a column for the Muscatine Journal. It’s titled My Last Date Was a Neat Freak, and it’s hilarious.

Here’s an excerpt:

“How many kids did you say you have?” he asked

“Four,” I said. “The youngest is 4 and the oldest is 14.”

“Well, if the 4-year-old keeps leaving crayons on the dashboard, the sun will melt them and you’ll have a permanent stain,” he said. “And I don’t know how you can see anything in that rear view mirror. It looks like somebody smeared chocolate on it.”

“I’ll take care of that today,” I said.

“You want to?” he asked eagerly. “There’s a car wash right across the street.

“You mean, you want me to go clean my car now?” I asked.

“I’ll do it,” he said. “Just pull your car into one of the stalls.”

In the Same Time Zone

September 8, 2007


Photo by Sailing Starwind

Now that the three of us are in the same time zone again, we get to actually spend time together. Last night was fun and included motorcycles, a Land Rover, a George Foreman grill, a trip to Goodwill, a movie, and an outdoor concert, where this photo was taken.

Lacking Transition

September 5, 2007

“Life never brings us what we want at the moment we consider appropriate. Adventures do occur but not punctually.” E.M Forster ~ quoted in an email from a friend, who I haven’t seen in years, and just barely missed seeing last summer.

Sarah and I park the car in the airport parking lot, still arguing over when the flight comes or came in. I say 5:35, Sarah says 5:00.

It’s 5:25.

We walk towards the entrance and see over to the left two familiar faces, along with a familiar green pashmina and a familiar blue fisherman’s hat. Always so orienting to see those two familiar faces.

How long have you been waiting, we ask, after hugs and kisses have ceased. We just got in, says our mother, and I poke Sarah in the arm.

Solitary Island, or, 44 Words

September 4, 2007

For Carrie, who asked.

Pulled, stretched thin and twanged by words unbidden flowing ~ towards, into, through.

Soothed by solitary tasks in the cool, breezy dead of night, where rhythmic folding, washing, folding, washing allow fragmented solid wisps of inspiration to draw me back together.


September 3, 2007

Wedding tattoos, originally uploaded by aioa

2wice a Bridesmaid

Lisa and Robert renewed their vows on Saturday, and it was great fun to be in the wedding party as one of the 8 bridesmaids. We streamed down the asle to a jungle theme, showing off (temporary) tattoos on our bare left shoulders. The whole celebration was filled with fun, laughter, and loudly proclaimed “Robert and Lisa.”

Then Bethany and I lured a few other bridesmaids to the fountain downtown.

Julie in Iowa

A dear friend from Korea days came for a short visit this weekend. We went to a farm stand and bought corn on the cob, watermelon, and hot pepper jelly, which was unexpectedly delicious. We also picked tomatoes at the Lee’s, cooked a huge dinner for boys who kept stopping by the house, watched a Cary Grant film, and found kitschy nicknacks for the cubicle back in NYC.

Oh! Julie brought me some Korean snacks, as she can get them much more easily than I can here, so we ate a lot of Peppero, which according to the US required nutritional facts sticker contain an unbelievable amount of sodium.

Some websites I’ve been enjoying lately:

A Year of Mornings
Two women, in opposite Portlands, take pictures every morning. So colorful and filled with my favorite things.

Chai Loves Linen
Japanese handmade. Gorgeous ~ be sure to look at all five pages.

Smiling About:

August 31, 2007

Would feel “at home,” she says

~ Robert and Lisa’s Wedding Celebration tomorrow. They were married in a private ceremony earlier this year, and tomorrow are the festivities.

~ Julie’s visit this Sunday!

~ Holding babies. Matthew and one of his coworkers, Dustin, came over on Monday because, uh, when you have your own company you can celebrate Labor Day a week early. Dustin’s fiancee and 1-1/2 month old baby came as well, and I offered to watch the baby while they went swimming. She was a chubby, getting-over-a-cold little thing and sat contendedly in my left arm while I sorted quilt squares with my right.

~ Secret messages from Singapore.

Open Letter To KLove

August 28, 2007

Dear KLove,

Although I rarely tune into your station I live with several people who do, and have been listening more than once a day for about a year now. I have a few suggestions and comments to make.

The first thing I’d like to suggest is a new tagline. Your current tagline (“The positive, encouraging KLove”) is getting a tad worn out, don’t you think? For your consideration I suggest, “KLove, where we play all the songs you know by heart.”

This brings me to a question I’ve been wondering for a long time. How many songs do you have in your library? I listen to your station quite a bit and though I’ve never actually counted, if forced to guess I’d say you had about 100 songs.

Wow. I know over a hundred songs by heart.

Now, I don’t think I played more than 100 songs on my radio show either, but that was because it was an hour a week, and because I’d developed an unexpected crush on Wes McDonald and played his latest album quite a bit. No one else was listening anyway, so it didn’t really matter. It was also his latest album, which reminds me of another thing.

Surely there are good Christian artists who are right now producing music worthy of playing on the air, so why, why, why do you persist in playing Newsboys, DC Talk, Audio [that naturally produced chemical I cannot spell], and other bands whose songs bring up really weird memories from my years as a gangly teenager?

One more thing. I’m a supporter of the international exclaimation point quota system, and you’re taxing the verbal usage limit on exclamation points. Ease up, would you? I’ve got some exclamation point using friends and would very much rather hear theirs than yours before all exclamation points have been used up. My friends are, after all, real.

Thank you,

Anna Anderson

Morphing, Again

August 27, 2007

Well, it was a nice start. This morning I found the pool table top in pristine condition, which gave me a similar feeling as last night when Sarah and I arrived home to a garage with space for a car.

Then I remembered my quilt.

Must remember to not leave huge projects out on the pool table. *sigh*

Enter stage two of the quilt-making process – the reassembling of the squares!!

Morphing into Pastel

August 26, 2007

“Print.” “Solid.” “Print.” “Solid.”
Here are the 400 squares arranged in a minimally thought-out pattern.

Enter stage one of the quilt-making process!!


August 24, 2007

The word, “random” I will forever associate with my friend Lisa, who embodies, lives random. She recently married Robert, who’s so nice it’s hard to resent him for whisking her off the face of the earth. Together they live in a tiny bedroom in his parent’s trailer while their house is remodeled. Often, around 9:00pm I’ll get this incredibly itchy boredom and join Lisa in the 24 sq. ft. she calls her own and watch TV with her until she meets Robert during his break at work.

So, with Lisa in mind, here are a few randomities:

~This is what I’d like the larger quilt to look like, if and when it ever comes together. In the spirit of reusing (and necessarily frugality) I’ll be using an old blanket instead of batting.

~The next few weeks promise to be a nice mix of quiet and chaos, and I’m hoping to move forward on some craft and writing projects that sit, half thought out in perfect disorder on the pool table and my desk.

~Am excited about a visit from a friend I’ve not seen in much too long. She and I spent our last night in Korea together, appropriately capping off the whole adventure in a hostel room with microwaved ramen and some J&C.

~Am disappointed I wasn’t able to to join Bethany on a short trip to meet Elijah, who’s been treking the world with his camera. Elijah’s mom and I met last year and when she mentioned her son was heading to Colombia I immediately thought of Bethany. They got in touch and met up for a day of sight seeing and photographing. His photos of Colombia made me want to travel again.

Breaking Point (or whatever it’s called)

August 22, 2007

South Korea.


Pool Hall in a city on the train line between my town and K and M’s city.

We’re talking about life, and everything that LIFE includes. We’re shooting pool and I’m getting tired of it. My patience for pool lasts through about one and a half games and we’re on our third. I want to lie on the floor. K brings up this idea of The Breaking Point. At least, I think it was called this. It might have been something else, but for some reason Breaking Point is what I’ve come to subjectively apply to what K went on to explain.

The Breaking Point, or whatever it’s called, is that point in a project/situation/job/pool game where you feel like you’re pushing a cement wall towards an undetermined finish line, and want to simply sit down and will it to all disappear. K explained that when you get past the breaking point, that’s when things start to change, fall into place — the cement wall becomes a wheelbarrow and the finish line is within sight.

After this conversation I started to pay attention to those times when things got difficult and I wanted to walk away. It’s easier to finish if you can see beyond what’s difficult right now.

Funny how life doesn’t have a breaking point, but rather a very long series of them. Funny how some of them seem to last months.

Oh, Insightful Tome

August 22, 2007

A very good song
The first broken Moleskine. There are others.

Last night…

Me: “…so what is our family’s idea of courtship?”

Mom: “Ahh! That word! Is it even in the dictionary?”

The word courtship is a term that has taken on rather subjective meanings. It is defined by individuals, families, and authors of best-selling books. It is used predominately in the homeschooling subculture to refer to the method by which two people should pursue marriage.

I realized, last night, that I had no idea what the word actually means.

According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, courtship is a noun. It means the act, or process, or period of courting.

Ok. So what’s courting?

Courting is a verb. It means, among other things:

to attempt to gain; seek
to try to attempt to gain the love or affections of, esp. to seek to marry
to pursue a courtship; woo

And woo?

It means to seek the affection of with romantic intentions.

And with that I had a revelation. Courtship isn’t about getting to know each other, or figuring out if two people are compatible. I’m not sure it’s possible to get to know someone enough, and compatibility? It’s so hard to tell, anyway. No, courtship, in the purest sense of the word, is about something beyond all of this calculation and analysis.

It’s about a pursuer seeking, attempting, trying, to win a heart.

Difficult to Know

August 19, 2007

It’s so difficult to know how God can use everything for his good and glory.

The women’s Bible study that I go to has been studying the book of John. Lately one of the main points that has stuck out to me comes from the story of Lazarus, where because of what seemed like a preventable death, a resurrection could be. The whole story is in John 11.

Since studying that chapter so many things have happened that just seem so pointless. So preventable. Why? I think. Then I begin to wonder how God will use the circumstance for good, for his glory.

It’s often difficult, or impossible, to know how this works out, but I have to attempt to cling unswervingly to the hope ~ through the hurt, meaninglessness, and anger.

Internet Fast

August 17, 2007

Things I’ve realized since learning our house will be without Internet access until September.

~I don’t need the Internet to live
~However, not having it makes communication with people a l’autre bout de monde (et pay) difficult
~There are actually 24 hours in a day
~I have a phone that I should use more

Sarah in a Glass of Water

August 14, 2007

Sarah in a glass of water

IMG_0957-1, originally uploaded by aioa.

Superhero Journal has started a Monday Photo Assignment. The first one, a few weeks ago, was Photograph someone in a glass of water.

Ok, so I’m a few weeks behind, but we just started using real glasses again and I wanted to try this out. See other pictures of Sarah-in-a-glass-of-water here on Flickr.

In our kitchen, the combination of an industrial size stainless steel sink and lots of rough and tumble youngsters has always been lethal for anything made of non-bullet-proof glass. A few months ago I decided that as we are now all of legal driving age and over 3-feet in height, maybe we could try using real glasses again. I had a box of new glasses I’d gotten at a yard sale for $5.00 (so cheap, I thought, until I saw the exact same box at Wal-Mart for $6.99), so I brought them downstairs to the kitchen. With resolve, I washed them and put them to use.

Last week I was washing dishes and marveling that we hadn’t broken any of the glasses. Then I reached down for the next glass and as I lifted it up towards me the lip caught the edge of a cast-iron dutch oven and broke into several clean pieces.

Bring Something to Burn

August 13, 2007

What: The Long Awaited Bring Something to Burn Party
When: Friday, August 17th. 8PM or so
Where: Anderwood
Who: You
Why: Pyromaniacs. R. Us.

We request that you bring at least two things. One thing to burn, and something else, edible, for roasting.

In anticipation of the words, “But I have nothing to burn,” I’ve come up with a list of things that you could burn. I came up with this list while my student was painstakingly summarizing chapter 2 of the abridged version of Huckleberry Finn, so that might explain …everything.

Things you could burn at the Bring Something to Burn Party

~Socks that are beyond mending
~Craft projects you really never will finish
~The (non-metal) contents of your waste basket
~Old love letters from former significant others
~Something symbolic, such as
~~a clock
~~an eraser
~~a pack of cigs
~~McDonald’s #4, supersized
~~a salad
~Last year’s calendar
~A secret
~Applications from universities that you’ve decided not to apply to
~Something decrepit
~Something of no real value
~Something moth-eaten
~Notebooks from math class
~A couch
~A candle
~That ancient t-shirt that reminds you, uncomfortably, of 1999
~A pocket dictionary of that language you’ve never actually learned
~Your collection of used paper cups
~A website
~Hostess cupcakes
[Edit] ~Itinerary of an elusive favoured guest that never arrived. (DF, “Becoming unexpectedly famous” does not = “A good excuse for not being in the US in August.”)

Some recommendations for roasting items include:

~Corn in the husk
~Apples with cinnamon and sugar
~Bacon wrapped asparagus
~Bacon wrapped pineapple
~Bacon wrapped green beans
~Bacon wrapped bacon
~Other, non-bacon “meat” like hotdogs

As always, accommodations can be arranged for you out-of-towners, out-of-staters, expats, and foreigners should you make the trek to the edge of Iowa. ;)

8th Annual Pizza and Mini Golf Formal

August 12, 2007

Me, Laura, Bethany, and Desiree

originally uploaded by bethanyjohanna.

Bethany has posted Flickr pics!!

Our golf team was comprised of us singlettes, and Christopher. We decided some healthy competition was in order and said the losers would pay for the winner’s ice cream. Desiree won, and I was glad we hadn’t said the lowest scoring player had to pay for the rest of the team… ;)

Click on the photo to see the rest of the photoset.

Matthew’s Life Through His Pockets

August 12, 2007

Matthew “I love my truck” Anderson

“Well, that’s a sexy picture.”

Things found in Matthew’s pockets while doing his laundry that might lend insight into his life as a hotel-dwelling construction worker:

~Two fast-food receipts
~A small, red, well-worn Gideon Bible
~Around $8 in bills and change
~Two nearly-empty matchbooks
~A well-worn Tums tablet

And a snippet of a conversation had while riding home from church in his truck:

“I have all of these country songs stuck in my head, melding themselves into one.”

“Entitled, ‘Life’?”


Finding Ashes, and Spaghetti

August 11, 2007

“The impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, but destructive. Anything you do not freely and abundantly give becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” Annie Dillard
From The Writing Life

On an unrelated note, at 2AM this morning an out-of-town friend walked in the door with spaghetti hanging off of her bag. It was one of those unfortunate things that you’re glad you didn’t miss.

Labels and Graveyards and Forgotten Poetry

August 10, 2007

Last night I went through my Gmail inbox and labeled the 200 or so messages I’d neglected to label and archive.

Then I had this dream about labels. In reality I have one label for “siblings,” but in my dream I had very detailed labels for those times when I send an email to more than one sibling and a conversation ensues with one but not another. For times like that I had labels that said, “Siblings – Ethan and Andrew.” “Siblings – mostly Andrew.” As well as, apparently, all variations on that theme.

Oh, and speaking of sleeping, as I read this article in the IHT I remembered that I had taken a nap in that cemetery last summer after returning to Seoul from a trip to Thailand ~ and after discovering my cell phone stolen out of my checked bag.

An elderly man came up to me and gave me a small book about the cemetery, which I still have.

There was a poem on one of the headstones that I tried to memorize, and although I can tell you exactly where the headstone is located, I cannot remember the poem for anything.


August 9, 2007

Sometimes it comes in the form of daylight, long sleeves, and a large bottle of Vitamin C.

(edit: swimmer’s ears. wail.)

Magic Quilt

August 7, 2007

About to lift off

Over a decade ago my Grandma, an avid quilter, gave me a bag full of quilt squares in two sizes. I started to handmake a quilt, but like so many of my craft projects, gave it up shortly afterwards.

This winter I went through my unfinished craft collection, deciding to heartlessly throw away some and finish the others. The quilt that I had started was a carefully matched, pastel thing that made me consider with suspicion my younger self. It was enough to make me want to shove the whole thing back in a drawer when I noticed the smaller stack of smaller squares and decided to make a mis-matched baby quilt as a segue into the larger quilt project.

With my Mom’s help (I can only sew if one of my hands is grasping hers) I laid out a nice mis-matched pattern of squares and got to work, forgetting about the whole project as soon as I got the top connected.

I finally finished it this weekend and am gearing up for the larger project: a huge, equally mis-matched quilt that will eventually go to live in the trunk of a car and provide the base for many impromptu picnics, and warmth for winter stargazing.


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