Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hot Diggedy Dog!

I felt like screaming for joy when I spotted this beauty when I went to my local thrift store today, cruising for some clothes to embellish and change up. While I came out with no fabrics, I came out with some fun kitchen and patio goods!!! What to do with this retro apothecary bottle thing is still a mystery, but it matches glasses that my husband and I scored a couple of years ago at the Rose Bowl flea market. It's always fun to spot something that matches!

This bowl matches our stuff as well, so it had to come home, too. I can always find room for another bowl...

While this relish tray is missing the bowl and lazy susan, I'll just have to keep my eye out. This matches our stuff as well--today all the aqua stuff from the 50s or 60s in the store had to come home with me! After finding these three pieces, I had to go back through the aisles and make sure there weren't others, hiding somewhere. Maybe I'll go back tomorrow, and look one more time, just to be sure. The things I get to worry about since I don't have to work right now!!!

All that I could fit in my arms at this point in my shopping was this pot, which was too cool to stay there. I have already replanted a gerber daisy that will hopefully bloom in its new home...

All this was less than ten dollars! How I love it when I have days like these...

Monday, July 6, 2009


On Sunday, we found you, lying across a chair at the flea market. I had been attracted to all things linen, and I'm so glad that we held out until we spotted you. You have a lot of triangles and squares, each lovingly handsewn into a warm cover. Where are you from, originally? How many hours did someone patiently take to make you? How many people have you comforted, late at night? Does someone long after you, and wonder what happened to you?

Some day I hope that you will keep our future little ones warm. In the meantime, I look forward to the fall and winter nights that I can cuddle under you, with my man, in your beloved new home...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Uncle Arnold

When I was a little girl, I was scared of you. You had a giant comb-over that blew in the wind, and you spoke funny. I hardly ever saw you, but I absolutely adored your wife, Ada. Ada was the best. She had kind, blue eyes, and long white hair. Gently, she smiled at me and beckoned me to climb on her lap. She spoke funny, too, but it didn’t matter. Sadly Ada’s kidneys gave out on her, and shortly after we made a long journey to Norway to see her when I was twelve, she passed away.

I called you when I was studying abroad, in Norway, at age nineteen. I was nervous to talk to you, because you were a fiery Pentecostal evangelist—what I envisioned my grandfather to be like. You were very pleasant, and so was your new wife, Gunvor. I didn’t get to see you then, but I grew less afraid and more curious.

You are my mom’s oldest brother. When my mom’s body gave out on her two years ago, I was left with a need to connect with everyone that knew her. Over the next year and a half, my husband and I planned journeys to go visit relatives and friends that were close enough to check in with. Most of all, I needed to see my mom’s homeland, Norway. I contacted you, Uncle Arnold, so we could meet up. You insisted we stay with you, in your small apartment in Bergen.

So we came. On the wall in your bedroom was a picture of my mom, standing next to you and your dad. She couldn’t have been older than sixteen. I had never seen it before. You were so kind, gentle, and loving—exactly as Ada had been to me as a girl, and as my mom had been to me my whole life. I am proud to call you Uncle, and I am honored to be related to you, who are so passionate in your love for people, and most of all, your love for Christ.

Your comb over is gone, and your new companion, Gunvor, is filled with joy and giving. My husband and I have never had more ice cream in our lives, and we would eat gallons more if it meant that we could see you and G again soon. I don’t know who has changed more on this journey—me or you—but I am thankful when I hear your funny voice on my answering machine, the voice of my Norwegian Uncle that I adore.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Days

Most of my friends are not teachers, so they think it's crazy that I have a little over two months off. "What are you going to do?" is the question I am most often asked. I want to say, "I'm going to sleep in, wear my pajamas as long as I can, avoid showering, and avoid people in general." Instead I reply responsibly. "I'm going to travel, read some books, go to some teaching workshops, and I've got some creative projects going on."

The truth is actually somewhere in between. The first day of summer (Monday) I came down with a cold. Determined not to let it slow me down, I ran errands until Thursday. Thursday I was laid out flat. On that Thursday I started my addiction to reading blogs and looking at all the creative things that people make on Etsy. I was too sick to leave the house for more than a quick dose of sunshine for four more days. My addiction got serious.

I went to a couple fabric stores before my addiction to Etsy began, and so I started to make some things. I made a cozy for my Blackberry. I made a coin purse. I don't own a sewing machine, so you can imagine how scary my stitching looks after not practicing. They're not very attractive, but hey, I made something! The picture is what I was shooting for, but I came far from it!!!

On Tuesday, my second week of summer, I was well enough to get out. I had signed myself up for a World History Institute on Travel Narratives, so I showed up to Cal State Long Beach with my head still a bit foggy. It was awesome! All week I listened to professors talk about things like the history of sugar, the African slave experience in the Andes, and the religious pilgrimages of Christians compared to those of Islam and Buddhism. Did you know that Gandhi spent over twenty years living outside of India before he became the symbol of its independence movement? Now we know.

I came home and had to order some books to read. I bought A History of the World in Six Glasses. It arrived a couple of days ago, and I am currently learning about beer. Did you know that the Mesopotamians drank beer through a straw? Who knew. I also picked up The Human Web, but I have no idea what it's like. It's longer than I anticipated, so it might be a read that I get to a lot later. I'm also reading One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War. I have to read it for another teacher thing I'm going to in DC in a couple of weeks. So far it's a review of the events leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I haven't gotten hooked in yet, so we'll see...

This past Monday, I talked my husband into coming to Costco with me. Low and behold, it was the first time I had ever laid my eyes upon a wii fit in a store. I grabbed it as fast as I could, and looked around to see if others appreciated that Costco actually had these things. It seems as though I was the only one who really cared. My husband just watched me, amused at my grab and run tactics. Nonchalantly, I carried my wii fit proudly through Costco, as we picked a couple of other things that we had decided we "needed". Costco is horrible!!! I walk in there to pick up one or two items, and inevitably walk out with my arms full. I know, I don't have children yet, so I am an ignorant fool. Needless to say, I have been juggling a lot of "responsibilities" this week: wii fit training every day, reading my books, and yes, a new project this week: earrings!!!

Around the corner a new bead shop opened up a month or so ago, and I finally made it inside this week. Some retired ladies? housewives? were buzzing around the store, as they had just gotten out of a bead class of some sort.Two hours later (the ladies had taken over the store!), I happily emerged with supplies, and in between my wii training and reading, I've made some earrings! I need to work on my loops, but I'm excited to wear my new line.