Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Aaaaas Youuuu Wiiiiish

For the ninety six percent of you who immediately got the title reference, yes. Today I'm grateful for Princess Bride, one of the best movies of all time. The jokes never get old, the romance never gets stale, and Wesley's mask is always awesome.

So to celebrate all those times you've laughed your head off at this cult classic, here are some quotes. You get a silver star for each one correctly identified, and a gold star for each quote you post in return. And hopefully you get a smile remembering all the classic moments.

1. "Anybody want a peanut?"

2.  "Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink, Humperdink!"

3. "Iocane. I'd bet my life on it."

4. "You keep on using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

5. "I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But in the meantime, rest well and dream of large women." 

6. "Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher?"

7. "Hold it, hold it. What is this? Are you trying to trick me? Where's the sports? Is this a kissing book?"

8. "Goodnight, Wesley. Sleep well. I should most like to kill you in the morning."

9. "I knew it. I knew you were bluffing. I knew he was...bluffing."

10."Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togevor today."

11."Drop. Your. Sword."

12."Wesley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?"

13."My way is not very sportsmanlike."

14."Boo. Boo! BOO! "

15."The chocolate coating helps it go down easier."

If you totally don't get it, you have got to watch the movie.  If you do, shout out! Hit me with some references. And never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line! (Maniacal laughter--)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tamara Leigh has a posse.

I have a confession.
For the first time since college, I have a stack of fiction books I haven't read. Granted, half the stack is in digital format on my kindle, but the other half is a brightly colored assortment of Mardel discounts that I couldn't bear to walk away from.
Normally, I buy a lot of books and read a lot of books. Over the past couple months, I buy a lot of books and read kind of a lot of books.
As a result a stack of characters just waiting to be cherished now stares at me from the nightstand.  

I didn't mean for this to happen, but new books make me feel happy the same way new lipstick does. And with work and life ramping up, I've had less brain cells and less time that I can devote to novels.

I say this only to explain how it was that I let the newest book by one of my favorite authors, Tamara Leigh, lay neglected in my kindle for weeks.  You know how people line up around the block to get the latest i-gadget? Or sleep on streets to buy tickets for Justin Bieber? Well, that is how I feel about certain authors, one of whom is Tamara Leigh.
Yesterday afternoon as I was trolling Amazon for some more novels I might need (Yes, I hear someone coughing to cover the word "Problem" in the back of my head too), and I googled Tamara and there was the book Dreamspell

Since I already had it, I quit reading and Amazon and immediately opened my kindle.  I did take potty and dinner breaks, but it was two a.m. before I finally made myself put it down and try to sleep.  The woman can weave a tale. Likable characters, insurmountable odds, and the guy who is hot, but doesn't know it. Sigh.

I finished it today, and have been reminiscing ever since. I love how a good book does that. It leaves a sweet aftertaste on your tongue and while you're sated, you kind of wish you weren't done. You contemplate just flipping back to the beginning and starting over. 

Well, I won't give in to that temptation, but I will pick up another off the too-long neglected pile and open a fresh page.

I've talked before about how much I love that God is a creative type and a story-o-phile, and once again I'm grateful for story at all, and that we will never run out of them. For Tamara's mad skills, for kindle instant delivery, and for naps after a long night's read, and that spell check doesn't yet recognize Bieber as a word.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I love flowers. I love that they are brilliantly colored in shades that make Crayola jealous. I love the rich diversity of scent, from the intoxicating sweet of jasmine to the musk of lilies. I love that they're so diverse and yet share this quality of effortless extravagance that makes you kind of want to be a flower when you grow up.
I like seeing them along highways, and even the grocery store. I'm pretty sure if I ever make it to Holland I'll be tempted to buy some clogs and move into a windmill in a field of tulips.
And what I especially enjoy is when a bright assortment of flowers finds its way to my home and radiates all the color scent and beauty into my space.
There is something about having the glory of flowers picked just for you. Yes, the minute a flower joins a bouquet it's lifespan is limited.
But that's just it. If it is worthwhile to cut something so special just so I can have it near me, well... for a girl who, to be honest, has felt for quite a while like she has more in common with cabbage rose-covered wallpaper than an actual bloom, it has been a blessing to look at some flowers and know they were picked for my joy.
Today has also been a day composed of a bouquet of bright moments, rich in texture and diverse in participants.  Like flowers, they cannot last forever. And because of that they're all the more precious to me.
Thank you God for the richness you've blessed me with. For the flowers in my home and the bouquet of hearts that adorn my own. Thank you for moments that vary from simple to surprising that you have arranged into a memorable day. Thank you for the beauty in all its facets that you give me, just because you want me to have it.  You are most generous and most loved.  All my heart.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Meet Leif

You probably can't tell, but this blog is being written on a new computer.
If the nerd in you just perked up a bit, you're not alone. My inner nerd has taken the reins today as I set up my new MacBook Air. That's right, I went over to the Apple side. Since I was little my Dad has worked for TreeTop--the premium in apple juice--so I guess it was only a matter of time until my roots surfaced in the technological facet of my life.  I've synced my email and entered my itunes password and downloaded skype.
That's all so far, but it feels great, and so light!
Okay, I can't think of any way that Jesus relates to Apple laptops, so if you have one please pitch in.  In the meantime I'm just grateful it got here in one piece, and for the tax return to purchase it, and that so far I've figured out how to use safari and minimize windows and double click.
Thank you Jesus for Leif the Laptop (he was going to be Larry, but now that we've spent a little time together, he's too cool for that).  All my love.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Vegan Cookies 'n' Cream" is not an oxy-moron

Tonight I had birthday cake.  It's not my birthday, yet, but I was visiting family and so we celebrated a tad early.

Birthday cake is always good, but when it's cookies and cream flavored? Even better.
And when it's vegan, so I can eat it instead of just sniff it?  Divine!

So, I'm thankful tonight for my sis for getting the yum-tastic cake and making them write Happy Birthday on top (in vegan pudding!), for Whole Foods for catering to those of us with a less common dietary bent, and to God for chocolate and Earth Balance. I'm also thankful for the half-cake that's in the fridge for tomorrow, and that thirty is the new twenty.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Nice to meet y'all

There are times in life when those near us let us down. Those we trust with the things closest to our hearts may leave us exposed.
This happened to me today. I was standing in front of a room of construction safety professionals (read: men) as I prepared to give a presentation. I had arranged my slides, notes, and goodies. I even ironed my button up and slacks.
The guys were avoiding eye contact and talking mostly to each other, so I just made a circuit of the room depositing a business card in front of each. I'd just regained the front of the room when the group's host approached. I offered a wide smile which he tried to return and stuck out my hand, which he hesitantly accepted.
It wasn't until he'd released my grip that he leaned in and spoke in a low voice. "I don't know how to tell you this, but your button is undone."
I whipped around to face the wall and, sure enough, not just any button but the most important one had sprung free....ahem...I mean, it did have the most stressful job of all the buttons, but still. The things closest to my heart were peeping out at my audience.
Of men.
Needless to say, I put the button back where it belonged and immediately thanked the host. He spared me sharing the stage with two of my friends.  He was embarrassed, and while I assured him he handled it correctly, I recatalogued the grand tour around the room, grateful for the averted eyes and overly loud conversations with eachother as I passed.
As with all the hurts inflicted upon us, we must forgive. I forgave the button, though I will add a safety pin to my ensemble next time, and went on with the presentation. Which, I was told later was one of the best they've had so far.
I'm not going to read into that.
I am thankful for two things. One, I was not embarrassed. Not at all. Even now, it's funny but I don't cringe when I think about it. Weird, right?  I'm taking it as a blessing from God. So, thanks, God, for squishing my embarrassment.
Second, I'm thankful for the kind host who stepped out of his comfort zone to let me know I'd come out of mine.  He didn't want to do it, but I'm so glad he did.  So, thank you, God, for people who will do the difficult thing in order to help someone in need.
All my love.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Let them, never mind.

Do you ever have a day where you wish for a reset button to appear so you can start the day again?
Do you ever start wishing for that button before you leave the house?
Me too.
This morning I tried to make a cake for a retirement party.  It came out looking more like brownies than a cake, but hey, who doesn't love a good brownie? Of course, if it's that flat, it may be too dense to taste good.
I decided to take a little nibble out of the top. After all, I would be flipping it out, so the top would become the bottom and no one would know. And if it didn't taste good, I would spare my coworkers.
It tasted...good enough. So I let it cool for a bit and did my ironing.
At go time, I turned it out onto a serving plate. Correction. I turned out half of the cake. The other half glommed stubbornly to the pan.
Maybe I could just put it back in the pan?  Nope, it looked rough. 
First off, I love baking things, so I am always bummed when a goodie fails. Second, I really like my coworker and wanted her to feel special. Hence, the desire for a reset button so I could scurry to the store in my pjs and buy six eggs and some vegetable oil.
Now late, I grabbed all my stuff and darted out the door.

And then, I inhaled.  The air had the rain-cleaned scent. One part wet grass, one part damp earth, one part life.  I love that smell. It's like a reminder that all things are renewable. More specifically, that I am new in Christ each day. Each moment. One breath, and I'm new.

I got my reset. 

Thank you, Lord, for renewal, for rain, for the scents you planted so liberally that awaken my heart. Thank you that April got a cake anyway, and that its raining now, so tomorrow I'll get to smell the newness again.