December 29, 2010

For all that changes, I am infinitely grateful for that which remains the same.

December 28, 2010

December 27, 2010

Where will all of these dreams intersect?
Which will become and which will only be part of the becoming?

December 20, 2010

Start here & go until you die, he said. What's so complicated about that?
- Brian Andreas

December 17, 2010

Somebody said they saw me swinging the world by the tail, bouncing over a white cloud, killing the blues.
~Rowland Salley

December 16, 2010

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. - H.D. Thoreau

{Going to cheer them, don't be surprised when they cheer you.}

December 09, 2010

December 08, 2010

This place feels small and big at the same time.
Everything washing right out from under my feet, yet I stand on solid ground.
Rushing in, then playing back gently, wave upon wave, and I'm swept away.

December 06, 2010

And all of this life moves around you.
For all that you claim you're standing still, 
You are moving too.
~Alexi Murdoch

November 24, 2010

"We were sitting on the veranda. Oh, everything was there - the wicker chairs, the table with the tea tray on it, the scent of the flowers, the scent of India, the air of certainty, of perpetuity; but, as well, the odd sense of none of it happening at all because it had begun wrong and continued wrong, and so was already ended, and was wrong even in its ending, because its ending, for me, was unreal and remote, and yet total in its envelopment, as if it had already turned itself into a beginning. Such constant hope we suffer from!"
- Ms. Daphne Manners, from The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott

November 19, 2010

The simplificaton of anything is always sensational.
-G.K. Chesterson

November 16, 2010

I don't know where it all begins.  And I don't know where it all will end.
But we're better off for all that we let in.
~ Indigo Girls

November 08, 2010

October 29, 2010

It's okay if you get hurt. You were designed to heal.
...I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you... 2 Kings 20:5

October 28, 2010

It's as if she said to herself:

      Well, life is not just a business of standing on dry land
      and occasionally getting your feet wet.

           It is merely an illusion that some of us stand on one
           bank and some on the opposite.

               So long as we stand like that we are not living at
               all, but dreaming.

                  So jump, jump in, and let the shock wake us up.

                      Even if we drown, at least for a moment or two
                      before we die we shall be awake and alive.

from The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott

October 27, 2010

To get from one place to the other you could not cross by a bridge, but had to take your courage in your hands and enter the flood and let yourself be taken with it, lead where it may. 

from The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott

October 22, 2010

do you know what grasshoppers do?

Spotted the grasshopper as I moved in for a closer look at the bright berries on this little plant.

August 25, 2010

a wind in the door

When you open the door, be ready. When you allow possibility to drift in, be ready for it to linger and swell. Be ready for it to follow on your heels, fill space while you drive, sit beside you at dinner and whisper stories as you fall asleep. Be ready to not know how to entertain it, unsure of what to do with it. But be ready for it to tell you. Then be ready for it to stare back at you from the mirror, asking you to be brave.

When you Believe, Be ready.

August 21, 2010

rising temps

today i:
  • dusted, cleaned and rearranged the built-in bookshelf in our living room
  • listed thirteen books on
  • cleaned windowsills and moved some house plants around
  • cleaned the inside of the refrigerator
  • washed dishes
  • sewed a little cushion for a small doll bed I got for the nieces to play with when they're here (I had to do this twice because I didn't get the measurements right on the first try)
  • rearranged a closet so I could store my sewing machine in it
  • got distracted and looked through photo albums also stored in that closet
  • decided to cut my hair short and highlight it again because I really like my hair in all the pictures circa 2007
  • noticed the air conditioner is not working (uh oh.)
  • made afternoon coffee to have with a few Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies but ended up eating the entire snack-size bag before the coffee was ready
  • have not changed out of my pajamas

today Aaron:
  • made my morning coffee
  • picked up around the house
  • helped me measure for the doll bed cushion because I'm measurably impaired
  • got gas for the lawn mower but decided not to mow in the middle of the day
  • confirmed the air conditioner is not working
  • confirmed he likes my hair in all the pictures circa 2007
  • ate a turkey sandwich
  • took out the trash
  • gave Sadie a belly rub

I love Saturdays like this. When you just leisurely do things around the house. Especially when it is so hot outside. We're thinking the AC was working overtime and froze up or something; so we're letting it rest for a while and will find out soon enough if it's truly broken.  Aaron is taking me to see Inception tonight at the IMAX! We're hoping the AC will be back in working order by the time we get home!

August 18, 2010

the not so wee three

This precious girl's second birthday has come and we celebrated with pink cupcakes.
This is how she chose to eat hers.
No hands!

 This one, oh my. She packed her new dance outfit so she could put it on and show me. She twirled and leaped and sat and told me all about starting ballet and tap and the different shoes and colors of leotards for each. Your first ballet shoes are, after all, something to be proud of.

And this charmer, he will snuggle still in your lap for a story or a whisper, but not for long.

August 13, 2010

spoon story

One day a man said to God, “God, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

So God showed the man two doors. Inside the first one, in the middle of the room, was a large round table with a large pot of stew. It smelled delicious and made the man’s mouth water, but the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished.

They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. God said, "You have seen Hell."

Behind the second door, the room appeared exactly the same. There was the large round table with the large pot of wonderful stew that made the man's mouth water. The people had the same long-handled spoons, but they were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The man said, "I don't understand."

God smiled. “It is simple,” he said, “Love only requires one skill. These people learned to feed one another. Those who think only of themselves remain hungry. But those who see beyond the end of their own spoon are well fed."

August 07, 2010

on remembering i have faith {final part}

If there isn't anything I can do
If there isn't anything I can do
If there isn't any thing I can do

Then what is there?

And so

I remember

I have Faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.

August 05, 2010

on remembering i have faith {part three}

I twaddle around, busying myself, distracted by my thoughts, wringing my hands.
Don't you care? Don't you see all that I'm doing?

And then,

this one is easy,

yet so easily forgotten

that I need not rage through days

that it's not mine to do.

Words find me, call me by name, invite me to sit, rest, listen

and be loved.

There is need of only one thing.

July 29, 2010


Dole has launched a marketing campaign for things you can do with bananas after the sun goes down.  I know because there was a sticker on my banana that says Go bananas after dark!

I love going bananas! anytime of day, so I checked out their website.  They offer P.M. recipes that include ways to incorporate nanners into your backyard bbq, salads, desserts and s'mores!

See that picture? calls these Grilled Bacon Maple Banana Bites.

Dudes, whatever.  Those are straight up Bacon Wrapped Bananas!


July 22, 2010

on remembering I have faith {part two}

This is what I do. I obey the commandments and I seek to do Your will and I try my best to love others the way You do.

I read books about how to do it better, and I ask for You to show me how, and I try to form new habits and think in new ways and I strive for understanding and come up with ideas to do it more and offer suggestions for how to achieve it.

I write lists and read books and listen to wise counsel, start projects and make notes and if I can just be better and stronger, learn more, try harder, I can repair, restore, renew, help, heal, understand, change.

But I am weary, and things never change. I never change.

And then,

Is this what I own?

Knowledge that goads me into believing I can think my way through it
Diligence that wraps me in false security, for if I Just. Keep. Trying.
Independence disguised as obedience

And I wince at the familiar sting - I’ve been doing things my own way, the way that I own. Thinking it will be me, all my lists and ideas and efforts, well-intentioned as they may be, that will cause and effect; sweet victory will be mine because I studied and sacrificed and never gave up.

But if I cling to my things, my ways....

...nay, my most prized possessions... I missing the greatest splendors?

Don't I trust enough to walk without relying on myself, on what I own?
Words find me; whispered among the stockpile and rations of books and lists and ideas.

Give up what you own. Then come, loved one, follow me. All things are possible with God.

part one

July 21, 2010

land of enchantment

Aaron and I drove to New Mexico in late June. I mentioned the giant grass-hopper sighting we had on the way there.  What I neglected to tell you about was all the other wildlife we encountered.

Somewhere between Ozona and Fort Stockton, we came upon Paisano Pete, the Roadrunner.  He was just about the biggest roadrunner I've ever seen.  He seemed friendly enough, at first. But when it was time for us to be on our way, he became a bit pesky...

... meep meep...
After Aaron snapped this picture of Paisano Pete trying to make off with his wife, he dropped the camera and rescued me from what surely would have been a tragic ending.
Whew! That was close!

Later that afternoon, we visited Carlsbad Caverns and loitered around a cave entrance in hopes of seeing hundreds of thousands of Mexican Free-tail bats fly out for their nightly feeding. The park rangers call it "The Bat Flight."  Doesn't that sound so thrilling?
Come witness the spectacular Bat Flight!

I was particularly excited because I've tried unsuccessfully several times to witness this same bat phenomenon right here in my own town.  Unfortunately for us, nature did not cooperate and the New Mexico bats didn't exit en mass that evening.  Foiled again!

But we did see this giant fly.
(The bat is for scale.  It's not a real bat.)

But wait, look! A big bat head is biting Aaron!

{thinks to self Why is all the wildlife on this trip unusually large?}

The next day, we visited the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. While we did expect to see wildlife there (duh), I did not expect to see any creatures outside of their faux natural habitats.

But then there was this.
I wouldn't have been so surprised if this was a normal moth.
But, obviously, it is the elusive Enormous New Mexico Desert Wall Moth.

The highlight of our trip to New Mexico was attending my cousin's wedding. The ceremony was held way up in the mountains of Pecos National Forest, in a grassy field surrounded by magical Aspen trees.
It was beautiful.
Summer sun tinkling down through the Aspen leaves
cool mountain air
electricity of impending late-afternoon mountain storm
Love and Kissing and Mariachis

and then this butterfly landed on my sweet Aaron

wild and free to land anywhere it pleases in all of this glorious creation
and it chose Aaron.
{even fellow-wedding-goer-dude was impressed}

I think, for just a moment, it was contemplating slipping into that pocket.
But it fluttered away.

Then I thought of this quote from Charles Dickens
I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.
Mankind will surely not deny me what it so willingly concedes to the butterflies.

I painted that quote on a coffee table I had in college. I loved that table. My Dad and I made it together before I moved to Austin, especially for my college apartment.
I wish I had a picture of it. I should look for one.

Back to oversized wildlife spottings.

Now this last thing is actually the first thing we stopped at on the trip. And it's not exactly wildlife.
But it used to be wildlife. And it was big.
Although it is officially the The Deer Horn Tree, Aaron advised that it is not exclusively deer horns. There are antlers and skulls from other horned wildlife.

Isn't it kind of weird? And also interesting?

and slightly scary?

The end.

July 19, 2010

on remembering i have faith {part one}

Life squalls, threatening to capsize me if I don’t figure it out and


But then,

what if I am the storm?

flesh feverish with a thousand thoughts slicing wild-hot
bones crashing loud with earnest effort
heart raging with determination
soul gusting fierce to opposition

Words find me, breathe calm to my tempest.

Peace! Be Still!

July 13, 2010

if you feed a longhorn lavender

When Aaron asked me what I wanted to do on Saturday, I'm pretty sure he was not expecting to find himself frolicking in lavender fields.

I think he was looking for an answer more along the lines of

a) purchase a new mattress
b) chores that are long overdue
c) hat/cap shopping at Academy, because a man can never have too many hats (...?)

Really, we didn't frolic. Aaron did take me to a lavender farm, though.

It's somewhere between Wimberley and Blanco, which makes for a lovely drive.

At the farm you can cut, snip, pick and smell your own lavender.

After all that hard work to harvest your basket of lavender love, it's nice to sit on the double-seater swing under a big oak tree with your soul-mate while enjoying your lavender ice cream and gazing out across the rolling hill country. Just then, a gentle longhorn may wander over. And if you hold your ice cream out, he might come close enough to sniff it then snort into it deciding he's not in the mood for ice cream. Suddenly, you may lose your appetite as well.

But you will be simply satisfied with the fruits of your five-minutes of labor.

July 11, 2010

who did see that

We've had another impossible-to-see grasshopper sighting.  Aaron spotted this katydid hidden in a lavender plant. Can you even find it in the picture? It's like one of those hidden pictures in the back of a Highlights magazine.

It's always so funny to me how this happens.  We're walking along, and Aaron doesn't even stop or look down, he just keeps walking and says see that katydid? And I'm like what? where? in the sky 10 feet in front of you?

And he says No, right there, buried deep in the foliage of that plant we passed 6 paces ago.

And he'll stop and reverse to the spot and show me.

And I'm not kidding, I had to get on my knees and part the Red Sea to see this katydid.  I just stuck the camera into the jungle and hoped I was getting a picture of it. Then I spent the rest of the day saying katydid.

Aaron: Did you throw that trash away?
Angela: No, but katydid.

Aaron: What movie did you rent?
Angela: I don't know, but katydid.

Which inevitably turned into Sadiedid because, well, duh.

Aaron: Do you want some lemonade?
Angela: No, but Sadiedid!

please tell me you just spent 10 minutes over at the Highlights website doing one of those Hidden Pictures... because idid!

July 05, 2010


My three-year-old neighbor brought these flowers to me yesterday.

He picked them from his butterfly garden. He said he wanted to brighten my day.

It worked.

July 02, 2010

peeled like a banana

This is a grasshopper.

Let me tell you a story about this grasshopper.

Picture if you will: It’s mid-morning, the sun is bright, the clouds are fluffy and the New Mexico state line is only a few hours away. Aaron and I are zooming along, nary another motorist on the open road, I’m jabbering about something very important, like how I think I’m past the awkward stage of growing out my hair and I’m actually starting to like it again and it looks pretty normal in a pony-tail and I think I can even do a French braid without all the too-short neck strands sticking out, but is a French braid okay for a 31-year old or is that only for tennis players and small people, when all of a sudden...

EEERRRRRRT just like that we have screeched to a halt on the side of the road.

At first I thought Aaron was going to turn to the back seat and exclaim to the duffel bags and snack cooler “If you kids don’t stop fighting I’m going to turn this van around and nobody gets to meet Mickey Mouse!”

But then I realized we were quickly reversing along the shoulder of I-10.

I don’t know exactly how far we reversed, but I’d say from previous word problem experience, that given the time it takes to alarmingly decelerate from 75 mph and reverse back to the point you began to decelerate, it was about, oh, maybe, I don’t know, like a quarter mile? A hundred yards? I really have no idea.

I do know it was long enough for me to say something along the lines of whatarewedoing whathappened what’sgoingon iseverythingokay ohmygosh isthereadeadbodyrolledincarpetonthesideoftheroad what’shappening didsomethingflyoffthecar didweforgetsomething?!

Please note that up to this point Aaron had not said A. Single. Word.

Luckily, just before my bulging panicky eyes pop out of my head and my neck breaks from whipping my head around to see out of the car in every possible direction to find out what has caused this sudden backwards driving down the Interstate, the car comes to a stop and Aaron undramatically says "see that grasshopper?"

So yes. Aaron spotted a grasshopper while driving 75 mph. A grasshopper which God wonderfully and strategically created to blend in to its environment. Are you surprised? Because I wasn't. And then Aaron was able to reverse to the exact spot and see it again! I know objects in mirror are closer than they appear, but really Aaron just has Eagle eyes. Regarding this talent, he says "just look for something that doesn't belong."

After the grasshopper inspection and photoshoot we were back on our way and I decided to play the spot-things-on-the-road-that-don't-belong game. Only my version consists of enthusiastically hollering out what I see. Things like PIECE OF TIRE!  SONIC BAG LITTER!  STRAY TRAFFIC CONE!

I kept asking Aaron if he had spotted each item before I yelled pointed it out. But he was busy concentrating on not running over all the helpless little ants crossing the road.

June 22, 2010

not the pits

We've been having cherry cobbler à la mode for dessert the past few evenings.

And possibly for breakfast.

I made a cherry cobbler for Aaron because it is one of his favorites, and blueberry pie is not one of his favorites.

It was truly a labor of love, pitting all those cherries.

But he's pretty much worth it.

June 17, 2010

the sea is a wetter version of the sky

I treated myself to a little bit of sunshine today.
I spotted this ring, a for-real seashell with a hole cut just for my finer, and it spoke to me.
She said, "I know how much you love the ocean, and since you can't spend every day on the beach, you can at least where a little piece of it."

So she came away with me.

June 14, 2010

hiking the narrows

My friend was recently describing a hike her husband is hoping to go on in Zion National Park, Utah. It's called The Narrows, and is a 16-mile long slot canyon through which runs the Virgin River. At places, the walls of the canyon are 2000 feet tall and only 20-30 feet wide.
But you can always look up and see out of the canyon.

I read this post today on (in)courage, written by a young woman who has an autoimmune disease which there is no cure for and has left her homebound.

It was a nice encouragement to me, because it’s easy to wander into the wondering land of “What’s the point of this? Why me?” even when you’ve decided to stop asking those questions. And the truth is, even in my blessings, I sometimes wonder "Why me? What have I done to deserve this? What am I supposed to do with this blessing?" And the answer I return to is: trust He knows what He's doing, obey, and let Him do it.

I’ve excerpted part of her post below.

...when she was talking about the story of Abraham and Isaac, which prompted her to look up the meaning for the word “trial.” This is what her book said:

TRIAL (Old Testament) noun: from the Hebrew word sara which comes from the root srh, which means, “to bind, tie up, restrict." Thus, the noun comes to denote a narrow place in life where one is bound or restricted

I read it, and then read it again. And as I tried to digest it, I kept muttering to myself, “God, what are you trying to say here?!?!

My name, Sara, means to be in a narrow place in life where one is bound or restricted. Me. Sara. Who is homebound. Restricted by my location. Restricted by my very body that could barely move from the pain. Restricted by my lungs that don’t allow a deep breath anymore. Restricted from life beyond my four walls.

I got it. Not subtle. But what’s the point you’re trying to make here, God??? What’s the point?

Funny, that’s a question I usually try to avoid. What’s the point of all of this? What’s the point of my illness… my pain… my limitations… my forfeiting of all the dreams I had for my life. What’s the point?

I avoid the question because I’m fully aware I may never know the answer. I may never know how He is choosing to use my life or why not healing me fits into His plan. And I decided a long time ago that it’s ok if I never know, because I trust Him. He knows, and that’s all that matters.

But as I sat there and wondered, “What’s the point?” it occurred to me that as my physical life has been made narrow, as I have been bound and restricted and faced this trial, He has saved me from living a narrow life.

If I had not become physically restricted in this trial, I would not be here talking with all of you. Because of this trial, my world – my life – has been opened up to a community who has stepped forward to share my life, my story, my faith. I have been stretched and pulled and reshaped in my beliefs. My life has been fuller and deeper and wider, maybe not despite of my homebound status, but because of it.

My name is the origin of the word trial. I am bound and restricted. But He saved me from living a narrow life. He took my trial and redeemed it. I thought, in my story as Isaac, I was not spared because I am not healed.

But in truth, He healed my spirit.

And set me free.

by Sara Frankl, Gitzen Girl
original photo here

June 10, 2010

amarillo two ways

Every time I wear these shoes I think about doing this.

I finally did.

Does the arrow seem HUGE to anyone else?