Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanks Before the Turkey

This year we gave thanks over a large turkey, with lifted hearts, with people we love. As I ran here and there and set the table, and fretted over stuffing, I realized...

What a blessing to have a home to welcome people to....
What a blessing to have those people!
To have a table people can sit together and hold hands to pray at...
To buy beautiful food to savor and to gobble gobble up!

How wonderful to know that before you even invite the people, before you roast the turkey, before you set the table.... you already HAVE much to be thankful for! The perfect (or not so) meal cannot make or break it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hill Girls

Last month I spent a fantastic week with 17 beautiful Hill women.

We talked and laughed, drank lots of coffee in the morning and wine at nite.... we ate and giggled and shopped and told stories and posed for many, many photos.... We rode scooters on islands and climbed lighthouses and smoked cigars and had campfires and hugged tight and wondered why we have let all this time go by without at trip like THIS.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dollars, Sense...

Lately I've thought a lot about money.

Not about how much I have (or really, don't) or want or need (or really, don't), but just about how money determines pretty much everything. People who have money have not only their basic needs met, but they have access, they have choices, they have worries who only go so far.... they can afford to dream, they can afford to vacation, they can afford healthcare. They can consider education and they can sleep at night. People who don't have money are lucky to have their basic needs met, but have no access, no choices, no vacation, no real healthcare, no sleep. No rest.

Money can build and destroy. Money can bring unity and divide nations. Everyone needs it, everyone wants it, everyone works all day to make more of it, just to spend it and have to work again to earn more of it. It kind of blows my mind to consider that a basic unit of currency sets the world in motion.... And I wonder... Was it supposed to be this way?

This photo shares some beautiful thoughts on money.... from the amazing (and impoverished) Tanzania. Great (free) food for thought....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Julie and Julia

So you all know I rarely post (on average about once a month), but I just could not let this go.


Two things, both worth mentioning:
1) The book is good, but the movie is GREAT. This never happens.

2) Do not go to theater for said movie on empty stomach (as I did). It is torture.

So much to love about this movie. Mid-20th centure France, Meryl, food, Stanley Tucci, food, Amy Adams, more food, moments to laugh out loud (thank you Julia), moments that lump catches in your throat, more food, Nora Epron, parallel storylines, blogger name in title, more Meryl, more food.

A perfect Sunday afternoon treat. Now, time for a proper Sunday dinner and a desperate online search for the lovely Julia's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".

Bon Appetit!

The Lovely Point

Sunday mornings I get up and make coffee. I open the shades to rain or sun, thankful for either, thankful for both. I sit and sip and feel contemplative, quietly considering spiritual matters. I know I'm not alone in this, on this day- Sunday is churchy day. That said, I seek not preaching and pews, but what the lyrics of beautiful hymns and sensationalist scriptures can mean, CAN DO, for world, for nature, for life.

Much of society argues that Christians are crazy. Quite often, I agree. The (tel)evangelists, the scandals, the cheesy bookstores and bumperstickers. The arrogance and self-righteousness. I admittedly cringe to be associated, to be "lumped in" with this group because I feel as though my heart cannot participate (and winces) at this label... though we know, we worship, we seek to understand the same God.

That said, all of this distracts from the core, the essense, the truth of who/what God is, and beautifu, original intentions.... for peace, for beauty, for unity, for love that transcends, for perfect and lovely nature, for good, for truth. I see/experience God most in nature.... nearly a year ago, I ventured into and out of the Grand Canyon with three friends. The trip was exciting, it was tremendous, it will be the story I tell my children.. "when I was 26 and single, I put on a backpack and went into the canyon and slept next to the river".... A component of all of it was seeing the sunsets, wandering through this wonder of the world... and just feeling, just knowing, that the wind which passed through it was the very breath of God. Tiny flowers had been planted and protected to thrive in bone dry rock, the Colorado snaked through to give water and life, to quench thirst, and the laughter and conversation of friends, families and adventurers would echo for hours and hours. I could not help but think, this is the stuff of good, this is the stuff of nature, this is the stuff of God.

Words of a very wise man which sum this thought up beautifully:

Thanks be to you for the miracle of life

That happens as seed meets soil

Be our constant reminder that we are both: seed and soil giver and receiver.

So enable us to sow faithfully that Your blessings is spilled through us

Into the soil of this beautiful and broken world.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Catching Up! And Moving Forward.

Greetings my lovely blog followers! Yes, Grampa and the Bend family, this includes you!

Oh, August. The last few months have been a great, hot blur. Ever feel like you rush and rush around, doing this and doing that and have nothing really to show for it? Well. That's how my last few months have been. Not a bad thing! Just a busy thing. I always start a summer with ALL KINDS OF PLANS for fun things.... hikes, camping, berry picking, bbqs, backyard parties, beach, sun, road trips, lemonade stands, etc, etc, etc. Done some of those things, have not done others, but when all is said and done, summer 2009 has been savored, sun-kissed and enjoyed.

Such to say, I am:

Not far away! Up the road to the Beach House!! I am thrilled. Big house, beach view, spacious kitchen, a yard for a garden, big deck for relaxin with wine after a loooong day, and just much more. What else? Oh yeah! Little Juli Robinson will be my roommate! BFFs for nearly a decade and we finally get to be roomies! What a treat. Also looking for a 3rd roomie, so if you ARE or know some nice, fun girl who would like to live in a house in West Seattle, on Beach Drive for $500/mo, give a shout.

Making Plans. Job-wise, That Is.
I've been with UW Advancement for two years now and currently in a job I love.... but I've been challenged to dig deep, determine dreams and strenths and (GASP), put together a PLAN (a real four-letter word for 20-somethings the world over). Which I've done! I'm REALLY excited about it and what just might be down this road and around the corner. After years of semi-shirking responsibility and commitment to a more defined career, it feels SO good to pursue just what I'm pursuing. Can I be more vague? Probably not. But more to come. :)

Involved in The Wokovu Project.
My great friend Karen Gray recently went to Tanzania to volunteer as a teacher at a girls school. She returned stateside with stories and pictures and passion to provide for young women in need. In a very loving and practical way. The Wokovu Project is her grassroots effort to support Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need (KYGN). KYGN is a local non-profit based in Moshi, Tanzania providing education, vocation training, support services and ultimately, hope to at-risk girls in the villages surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro. The girls who attend KYGN are young women who have experienced significant hardships in their lives (abandoned, extreme poverty, orphaned, no money for school, absuse etc.) and are at KYGN for a second chance. "Wokovu" is Swahili (the language predominately spoken in Tanzania) meaning rescue, redemption and/or liberation. To learn more:

Burned Out.
I can't remember the last time I took a REAL vacation, you know... the kind where you pack bags and go away and rest, relax, sleep when you want, eat what you want kind of vacation. Work has been so busy and the life gets in the way and oh yeah, as you're ready to book your flight to Mazatlan, Swine Flu hits. Anyhow, weeks from now, I'll pack those bags, board that plane and head for the beautiful and exotic, faraway location of..... Duluth, Minnesota. Followed by a few days in Wisconsin. Will I lay on beaches? No. Will I laze about and play and eat and drink and hike and shop?? Well yes. You see, Hill Girls Reunion 2009 is fastly approaching and I gotta say; I'd rather kick it for a week with 16 Hill women than sit on any beach I can think of.

Finally Seeing James Taylor in Concert.
With my parents. At the Puyallup Fair. Dream come true. Enough said.

Missing Triple Digit Temps.
I love a hot hot hot day. Seattle hit 100 for like 3 days and all I heard was crying, whimpering and the sound of mad scramble to Bartells for box fans. People!! Heat, sunshine, warmth, summer is a luxury here in Seattle. 100 degrees is to be enjoyed and appreciated because it comes and sets records and then goes in an instant. Why is it August 8th and I'm wearing two hoodies and jeans?? Because that's normal. Real heat is not. Bring on the roasty toasty!

Making Jam, Growing Flowers, and Reading Seattle Mag.
I've somehow become my mother. Which is something I'm proud to say. :)

Twenty Seven.
I'm young but I'm old. I'm feeling more contented than ever and find that in my "old age", I'm far more concerned with making things happen than what people think of me. FINALLY. Sigh. Don't get me wrong. I want to make friends and keep them. I want to be liked, but approval and opinion don't weigh as heavily as they once did. I feel more comfortable in my own skin, and more relaxed, which ironically, energizes me to run forward, to say things that need to be said, make decisions which must be made, and to live boldly and honestly.

Certain that THIS is the year the Mariners will not choke at crucial moment. Certain also that the Sounders WILL.

Done With This Blog Entry.
Happy August, every single one of you. (Grampa, thanks for tuning in. Love you!)