Monday, January 24, 2011

Paper flowers

While in Spokane Rebekah and I took a make your own paper flower class at aNeMonE. It was fantastic. We had a lovely group session with 3 other gals and Mary, who founded aNeMonE with her husband Nate. At first the process looked really simple and easy, but once you started it you realized just how time consuming it was!

Forming my rose petals.

Rebekah posing with her rose.

Pieces for the dahlia

A sample dahlia. It was amazing.

My finished dahlia!

The gal at aNeMonE graciously let us take some photos around the shop. The flowers were amazing. The lilies for instance had painted detail on the inside.

A gardenia out of pearlized paper.

A boquet of paper flowers with feathery details.

If you want to see more, here is their photo gallery.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Surprise! (again)

Today was funny. Not laugh until you can't breathe funny. But funny in the sense that God has been using this month to keep me humble. So far I've had a surprise trip (I wrote down the wrong dates), a surprise concussion (still dealing with that one) and today we had a surprise visit.

Today it was around one o'clock and we were all relaxing (lunch break for the boys). I had started lunch, which was going to take a while to finish, and was giving my poor head a rest when the doorbell rang. Mom went to answer the door and was surprised to see an older couple that we know standing on our doorstep. I was just as surprised to hear their voices greeting her. And then I realized that this was the day I had invited them over for lunch. And I had totally, totally forgotten about it.

Granted the fault wasn't totally mine. I had invited them at the beginning of the month and had written it down on our calender. That calender had since become the farm calender and the lunch had never gotten moved over to our daily calender. This farm calender also happens to be the calender that I wrote the wrong date for my trip to Spokane on, so I had it in my head that the couple were coming the day before Spokane. Well, when Spokane came a week earlier, that went out of my head. Plus, it doesn't help that I'm still suffering from this concussion, can you tell? And the weird thing about all of this, is that I NEVER do this sort of thing. I don't like being caught unprepared and usually I'm the super think ahead and plan out everything sort person.

But God knew that I had forgotten and was merciful in not letting me be completely embarrassed. The night before I had decided to do something fun for lunch and had started some black eyed peas soaking. So, thankfully, when our guests arrived I had already started some Black Eyed Pea Masala with Naan for lunch. It was nice to have more than cheese quesadillas to offer them!

Both the recipes turned out great. I ended up using more peas than what they called for, so I just guessed on how much spices to add. I also left out the chilies, because I'm a total spicy-hot wimp. I forgot to take pictures, but the ones below work, right?

So there's only a week and a half left for surprises this month. And I can't wait. Because really, each day is a surprise and it's not like I'm really in control of anything anyways!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Business of Being Born

I watched The Business of Being Born on Netflix this week (it's on instant watch and I've had a lot of down time). I had heard of the documentary before, but had kind of blown it off, thinking it was done from an extremist version, ie, anti-hospitals, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was done.

While the movie definitely promoted midwifery and was against certain trends in hospital births (like the whole epidural - pitocin - c-section link) I thought it was a pretty balanced look at the failures of hospitals (such as the US's high infant mortality rate) and the safe options that midwifery provides for babies and their mothers.

And let me just state for the record that I don't lean strongly one way or the other. :-)

My favorite was the ending and I'm so glad that they ended it this way. The director Abby, found out that she was pregnant after beginning this project. They originally started with an OB but end up changing to a midwife halfway through the pregnancy. But then the labor comes early, things aren't right, and the midwife makes the call for her to go to the hospital and be delivered by her original OB (they had a back up plan). Once there she ends up getting of all things, a c-section. This story summed up well the whole point of the documentary. Midwifery is a valid option, and can be the right choice for many people. But hospitals are there for a reason, and sometimes you really do need them.

Due Diligence: Being a birthing movie, there are "nekkid wom'n" in this movie! (But not in the trailer below...)

Deadly Paper

On Monday of this week, I got a mild concussion.

And if it's possible to get a lame concussion, that's what I got. A really, really lame concussion.

I wasn't tackled playing football, I wasn't trying to land a double axle, or I wasn't saving the world by some dramatic means. In fact, I wasn't doing anything. Really. All I was trying to do was fix a printer jam. Which isn't much of anything. And certainly is not usually concussion inducing.

To set the stage, we begin with the fact that our printer is located in our large kitchen pantry, and on the top shelf above the printer we store paper goods, like paper towels and paper cups. Now the key word there is paper. As in non-heavy paper goods. The paper plates for instance have a spot on a lower shelf. Because they are heavy. But unfortunately, the last time we unloaded groceries, some person in our family decided that the top shelf (on top of the slippery paper cup bag) was the perfect place to store a 10lb bag of paper plates.

So. while I was bending over wrestling with the printer, I, poor innocent me, received the full blow of a ten pound sack dropped on my poor little head. And my brain did not like it. I immediately had the oddest headache and for the rest of the day I could've cried at the drop of a hat (now I know what it means to feel hormonal). I was also slightly nauseated and hardly ate anything all day. I'm doing better now since I went to the chiro, (PTL for chiros!) but still things are taking their time to feel better. And I've pretty much doing nothing for the last two days.

The thing that makes this even more ironic is that the previous evening (Sunday evening if you are keeping track) I talked to my friend Rebekah who lives in Spokane. It was a good thing that we talked because I found out that I was not flying to Spokane next week like I had written on my calendar, but I was flying out THIS Friday. Thankfully, I don't have anything going on this weekend, so it was kind of like giving myself a surprise present. Of course, my mind starts whirling with list of everything I must get accomplished this week (else obviously the whole world is going to stop) and I was in the middle of my first task when the above happened.

Thus my list was thrown out the window of life. And you know what, that's fine with me. Because I can't even remember what was on it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011: Resolved

I've never been into making resolutions for the new year, but this year I decided to try doing a goal/resolution sheet. I've made a separate page for it, but I thought it would be nice for it to have it's own post too.

1. Learn how to juggle three balls (Already making progress. I didn't realize that this should be a goal of mine until January 4th at four o'clock. And then inspiration hit. Thus some tangerines became slightly more squishy then they already were.)

2. Calculus/French (I've done 25 minutes of a refresher lecture for Calc. Go me.)

3. Finish Herbert! (Hmm, brakes, wiring, painting, gee not much left. Hah!)

4. Write more. (Not sure how this differs from 5, but it sure sounds good)

5. Keep blogging. (See 4)

6. Exercise joy and patience (So now, I'm scared to pray for opportunities... : D )

7. Consistently practice the violin. (Um, like at least an hour a day. Okay I might be in dream land here. But just reading this article made me realize I could make myself do more.)

8. Learn how to crochet, and crochet something. (I guess it would have been more logical to say "finish knitting sweater project before fall" then learn to crochet. )

9. Read more classic fiction. (List coming soon.)

10. Read at least six Shakespeare plays.

11. Be full of faith. (No fear.Well, I mean the right kind of faith, wrong kind of fear.)

Bliss and Place

So this is my first book review ever. I think. But hopefully this will help me keep track of the books I've read and hopefully remember more details later on...

While we were in California, my Aunt Susan loaned me (as in I didn't feel like reading any of the 4 books I brought) The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner (whose name is pronounced "whiner", of all things!)

To begin with the author starts in The Netherlands at the World Database of Happiness researching the places that he wants visits. He ends up traveling to ten countries total, most near the top of the happiness list and then a few in the middle and one near the bottom of the list.

Mr. Weiner does a fascinating job presenting what he thinks is the reason for each country's happiness level. In Thailand he decides that their reason for happiness is in the phrase "mai pen lai" or "nevermind". Thus for Thailand, happiness is not thinking, or at least, thinking too hard about being happy.

I think my favorite country that Mr. Weiner portrayed was Iceland. For Icelanders he suggests that happiness is the embracing of failure. Apparently, Icelanders look on failure as a good thing. Although, not the same way Americans do. Most Americans love a failure to success story, but according Mr. Weiner, the Icelandic culture loves failure and the creativeness that it fosters, the "if one isn't afraid to fail; then one will try anything" approach. As a result, Icelanders are very creative and it's not uncommon for someone to work many radically different jobs over their lifetime.

In his search for the world's happiest places Mr. Weiner also travels to Iceland, Sweden, Bhutan, Qatar, Moldova, Great Britain, India, and America. I really enjoyed the getting a taste of each country's culture as he experienced. For instance, Iceland is so small that reaching the office 30 minutes late because you ran into a group of friends was as legitimate an excuse as getting stuck in traffic!

Mr. Weiner sums up his search for bliss by deciding that, "Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude." And I add in my mind, "Neither is Jesus."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Icy Multnomah

We went to Multnomah falls on Tuesday. It was beautiful!

Inside the fall's "bowl" everything was covered with white. White ice. Everywhere.

The contrast was amazing!

My family :)

The water was rushing...

Taken through the pillars of the bridge.

The frozen stream was also pretty amazing. It looks so funny next to the snow-less ground.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years!

Random news:

For Christmas, my favorite gift was a fondue pot from my brothers. We've used it twice in one week, so I would say it was a success. Thanks guys!

For New Year's Eve, instead of attending a party (I was sick) we stayed home, had fondue, watched How to Steal a Million (Christmas gift) and Top Gear's Christmas Special. Lately it's been a tradition to stay up until midnight watch Top Gear. This one did not disappoint.

I've decided to start doing some book reviews on here. I'm not sure if I've ever written a book review, but it should be a good "shall-ange" as Inspector Clouseau would say. Plus, most book sites (okay, I haven't searched very hard) seem to review fictional books, but I tend to be a non-fiction sort of gal. I think it will be fun.


My knitting project is going fairly well. I'm knitting this sweater. I think I've almost doubled what in the picture. It's a knit down sweater. My friend Sally is knitting it at the same time and we were hoping to be done before New Years but I knew that was somewhat unrealistic. I think I'll just be happy to be done by next fall!