gettin’ my craft on. yo.

I realized this morning that, because i’ll be heading up to this place again on Friday…

that i’ll then be working all weekend. (Although, really, I can’t complain). But that does that taking a morning off is going to be good preparation for being fully there. With that, the morning found me gettin’ my craft on. yo.

I love PInterest, and could spend WAY too much time on that website thinking that I’m being crafty but really, I’m just looking at pictures of crafty-ness. Thus, we needed to get our craft on.

I’d made a summer wreath a couple months’ back, and liked it, but wanted more on it. So, I cut up an old blue and white striped t-shirt, and made little rosette flowers to go beside the seashells. Perfect!

Want to know how to make the flowers? Easy peasy: rolled flowers.

But alas, since it’ll be time to put the summer wreath away in about 2 days (because that’s when fall starts, right?), it was time for a fall wreath, following this tutorial:

I made this flower from an old fabric bag last night while watching GLEE, then added a Michael’s leaf and wrote the word “fall” with a sharpie and used an orange glitter pen over the top. A couple girlfriends and I are having a fall crafty party next weekend, and this will be what I’ll be providing for folks.

Bring on the crafty!

And now, for the work day…

hiking and running and other such verbage.

Yesterday James and I decided to hike up a really, really tall mountain. The hubs thought that i’d almost tricked him for a little while, because the beginning is rather slow and leisurely, and well, not altogether that hard. But then you get to part II of the hike, and it’s seemingly straight uphill. I mean, we’re talking just making it around the bend so you can pretend that the dog REALLY needs to sniff the nearby bush, but really, you just want to catch your breath for 20 seconds. My face was red as a beet, which worked well for the coach taking me out of soccer games in the 4th grade because he was leery of hyper-ventilation, but doesn’t work so well now in the 32nd grade when the hubs is just proud that you’re working out so hard.

So we reached the summit, and the clouds were swimming wildly around us – completely fogging us in one minute, and then clearing for 30 seconds so that from the coast we could see all the way over to Mt. Diablo in the east bay (which for you non-Californians is really quite far). And James, with camera in hand was pointing and shouting and giddily snapping shots. And then the fog resumed its previous stagnant position.

And thus, we made our way down the hill, but somehow, the craziest thing occurred: we began running down the hill. For an hour. It was amazing and exhilarating, and I suppose because I was running downhill and could actually think cognizant thoughts, I found myself thinking this is awesome. I am awesome. I am totally not entering middle age, but no, I am woman, hear me roar! I run and jump and skip from rock to rock, and my knees have never felt better. Patella Femoral Syndrome, yeah right! And Mr. Darcy, who of course, was along for this totally tubular adventure, was just like, my owners are aaaamaaaazing! I have the best doggy-mama ever! Let’s go on hikes and runs EVERY day!

And then I woke up this morning.

And no, it wasn’t a dream, but it was a backache. And a knee-ache. And a yeah right I’m getting out of bed-ache, let alone a seriously, you want me to walk up and down the stairs-ache? And I’ve been sore all day long.

But it’s been awesome.

Because as we sat in church this morning, and were reminded about how God blesses us and chooses us and predestines us (Ephesians 1), I started thinking about verbs. And the English teacher formerly known as myself loved thinking about the previous day’s verbs of hiking and running. I want to take full advantage of life’s verbs – I don’t want to have passed up an opportunity to add “running” to the day’s verb usage, even if it does make me a bit sore the next day.

today i…

…asked a high school girl if she liked the movie SMURFS, as she was wearing the backpack.

“Yup! Loved it!”

Then I asked her if she’d seen the 80’s cartoon series.

“There was a cartoon series?”

Ouch.

…experienced that good, soul kindling that can only be found through random phone dates with friends. It happened that I was driving near-5000 miles today, and they just so happened to have phone date time too. Mmm.

…updated the blogs I follow list – check it out, and make me add yours if it’s not on there!

…didn’t do a thing DIY. Take my temperature. What’s wrong.

…scored 62 points on a Words With Friends word. I tell you, people, it’s the little things.

…had swordfish for dinner – and it was pretty stinking yummy! We’re normally fish and salmon or crab and shrimp or ahi and mahi – or apparently every other fish besides swordfish, but was de-lightful. I followed this recipe.

…listened as a high school girl, whom I hadn’t seen for almost four months, poured out her heart to me, then asked me to be her mentor for her senior project. Sure, it meant a lot, but it was also the simple reminder at the profound influence and impact adults can have in the lives of kids when they just show up.

…just remembered that I have clothes soaking in the sink that need to be rinsed. Oops.

outty!

it’s another episode of DIY done-done

Before pinterest came into my life, I had this folder in my inbox entitled “DIY fun fun,” with lots of creative projects to tackle. Actually, this folder still exists, but I’m just that much more in love with pinterest, and am nabbing ideas off of there. Therefore, after some endearing hang out time with my friend Steph this afternoon, I present DIY done-done. Granted, while I wait to use neighbor Mark’s electric drill, I still have two projects left to do in the almost done-done pile, but for now, we have…

1. the distressed “m” for meredith…

It does look a little less gray and more green in real life, but I wanted an M to eventually hang on the shelf I (eventually) want to hang above the couch. I’m toying with doing another layer of brown over the top – what do you think?

Also, the COOLEST part about doing distressed letters (like this) is that you get the distressed look with a simple bar of Dove soap. Paint a layer/color #1 & dry + soap in random parts & layer/color #2 + sand & soap & layer/color #3….repeat.

2. Home is whenever I’m with you…

I had some old canvas boards from our wedding last year that we used as signs around the yard; I saw a little DIY project with wooden letters glued on, then the entirety of it painted over it. I don’t know if you can read the letters very well, but up now on our bathroom wall, it looks GREAT. I used a Martha Stewart terra cotta white paint that has chunks of grit and sand in it, and gives it a rough finish, which I love. Then of course it makes me want to paint the entire bathroom in a deep red color.

And now, I’m going to continue to rest while the hubs grills salmon – yum! Happy weekend!

$1.50 or Peet’s – what would you choose?

I was driving into south city today for a meeting, and upon pulling into a parking space, I had watched as a homeless man walked with cane across the street towards me and sat down four feet from my car door, waiting for me to exit. Now hear me out: I wasn’t scared to get out of the car, but I wondered how long he’d wait for me – would he really make it that obvious when there wasn’t another person in sight?

He won the waiting game.

I got out of the car, and immediately he asked me for change.

I responded with a no thank you, but offered to buy him a coffee at Peet’s, as I was headed that way.

He retorted that he didn’t need coffee, he needed $1.50 so that he could buy some salt and pepper shakers to go with his meal, as it was cooking on the stove as we spoke.

I told him hot chocolate tasted really good.

An intersection of stubborn wills obviously came into play here, and as I walked to the coffee shop (and he asked me a third time for money, and a third time I offered him some caffeine), I wondered if I’d responded correctly. My old friend Murrow in Santa Cruz used to argue that it wasn’t my responsibility to even CARE what the homeless person did with the money he handed them – for his responsibility was to give if he was asked. “But what about drugs and alcohol and other stuff that shouldn’t be purchased with loose pocket change?” I’d ask. Doesn’t matter. Not my business.

So too I’m faced with the same conundrum: what would you do in this situation? Does it matter what the person does with the money, or do we have a responsibility to be good stewards? Was I just being overly stubborn in my coffee insistence, while he was being too damn stubborn in his salt and pepper desire? Is there a right and a wrong here?

Yet still I think about it. I try to drive with granola bars in my car, as to be able to hand them to folks if need be – but, if what they’re really asking for is money, then should I just give without worrying where it’s going, because that’s my responsibility?

Would love your thoughts…

i really like my neighbors.

It’s true. I really like my neighbors. I have memories of growing up in Keizer, OR, and we knew the neighbors to our left and right and across the street, and even in the field behind us. (Well, technically it was the church’s field, but we staked claim to it by smiling at the old ladies). Riding bikes up and down the street and borrowing a cup of sugar and stopping by for a chat and celebrating the 4th of July was just how it was, it was what we did.

And I realize now how abnormal that is to much of the world – or is it? Is it a characteristic of generations’ past? Is it just something that happened in quasi-small towns like Keizer, but doesn’t happen now, and certainly not in California? So the thankfulness is two-fold: I’m grateful to my parents for modeling to me what it meant to be in community with those who – literally – lived right in our neighborhood, even when and if they weren’t just like us. And I’m grateful now, that 14 years after high school, I finally live in a neighborhood in which people are IN each other’s lives.

Take, for instance, neighbor Mark: I met Mark soon after moving to Brisbane, and one thing led to another, but through our dogs we began having a little neighborhood dog park of sorts. Now, most every morning, we’ll have upwards of five or six doggy mamas and papas with their canines, conversing and laughing and sharing and just BEING in each other’s lives. And we’re different. We are so unlike each other at times that it’s comical – but damn it, I love the man! (And James, mind you, need not be threatened, as you might remember from this post). With his permission, I also then spoke about Mark a couple months ago at church, with purest of endearment.

Upstairs neighbor Kara [whom Mark dubbed “Hot Kara” – I’m “Good Cara,” boo!] and I now have gym memberships together, and while cheese and beer sometimes get the best of us, we end up going somewhat regularly to the gym. And unless we’re sweating in the middle of a Zumba or spin class, we end up conversing as our feet pedal over and over again on the Elliptical.

So tonite, as another paper bit the dust [with only 13 more pages of writing/1 paper to do!], I find myself reflective and grateful for those who’ve been placed right smack dab in the middle of my neighborhood. Do you know your neighbors? What do you love about them? What drives you up the wall? How can you – even more! – create community with those who are right next door to you?

most recently…

1. In love with pinterest – and gaining WAY too many ideas for what my jeannie-friend calls my newfound “shabby chic” interior decorating.

2. Finishing up a Fuller class – today I read 120 pages and wrote two papers. I still have 7 papers left to write. Does Peet’s deliver?

3. Spent the day at the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival yesterday (again) with Jeannie-friend. I came home with a bottle of wine, 7 beautiful tomatoes and two bottles of heirloom tomato ketch-up. What can I say? I like tomatoes. (And pa-lease people, start volunteering at events like that – you get free admission for working just a wee little bit of time, and look at the abundance received. Yum).

4. James and I have been living up the nature-esque hikes and walks as of late, as the YAY area is just bee-yoo-tiful in September. (Indian summer, anyone?) Here’s Mr. Darcy last week, who desperately needed a sip of water, and there wasn’t a doggie fountain in site.

Yes, we have doggie water fountains in California, don’t you?

No, he didn’t touch the spout, I swear.

And now, back to mi papers.