Wednesday, July 28

Happy Happy Joy Joy



Quitting a job can be a bittersweet time – this time it’s really not.
This morning I am reflecting on the top 10 awesome things about quitting this job…

10. No more office chair that is way too short for my legs – yep – my knees are up to my chest right now (OK maybe not that high…)

9.  No more running down to the Store to help folks because I am the only one who knows how to work the credit card machine

8.  Having absolutely NOTHING in my email inbox or my mailbox

7.  No more Board of Directors

6.  Never having to observe yelling matches between co-workers over silly things like what hinges to use on a frame or what color carpet looks best in the galleries

5.  No more naked figures or paintings in my vicinity unless I want them there (Ha!)

4.  Never having to clean up after a public event again

3.  No more awkward Tuesday morning staff meetings

2.  No more weird black flecks of who-knows-what coming out of my air vent

1.  Never ever having to work with HER again!

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY! 

Tuesday, July 27

Miscellany Monday - July 26

(OOPS!  I missed Miscellany Monday, so here's what I meant to post yesterday.)

1.) GOD IS GOOD
Remember the faith jars at The Journey? Well, we finally opened them Sunday. We’ve got enough to pay off our carpet debt AND build walls around our children’s rooms. Not to mention all of the lessons about faith we learned. God rocks.

2.) TA-DA!
I finished up a bunch of misc fabric jewelry projects last night. I made a few felt brooches that look like Dahlias, a rose bib necklace (made from one of Bruce’s old t-shirts), and a cool rolled felt statement necklace. I’m trying to decide what projects to take with me to Florida…

3.) DARK SIDE, INDEED
Did you guys hear that Darth Vader held up a bank in Long Island? WHAT? Ha ha ha!

4.) NEW DO
I got my hair chopped into this fun little rocker-chick ‘do, and I really like it. It’s a lot shorter, but definitely a little funky. Yay!

5.) SUNSHINE STATE
Bruce and I leave for the F-L-A Wednesday. We are pretty stoked to see his family! And we get to see some good friends and their kids too! Yay!!! I am not excited about the heat and humidity, but everything else will make up for it. Can’t wait for Grandma’s chicken and dumplings!!!

Thursday, July 22

What Drives You?

A few years ago, Bruce and I started a game of Punch Bug that still has not ended. Anyone who has ridden in a vehicle with us – or just been in public with us, for that matter – undoubtedly heard us playing, or at least has seen us punch each other, lovingly of course! We can’t help ourselves.

The problem is that we make up our own rules as we go, and without the prior consent of the other person. You can see why this is a potential problem.

So I googled it. And WOW! That opened up a whole new Punch Bug World for me! I thought it was pretty interesting, so I thought I would share a few nuggets (Bruce, make sure you take notes so you don’t keep cheating!)

According to www.Beetlemania.org:
An official Punch Bug is either a vintage Volkswagen Beetle or the newer Volkswagen Beetle. It is not any other Volkswagen vehicle; nor is it a Beetle that has been modified beyond recognition. Any and all cars on the lot of a Volkswagen Dealerships are not allowable – they are considered to be “in time out.” However they must leave the lot eventually! Beetles on non-Volkswagen car lots are not under restriction and are fair game.

The gist of the game is, when you see one, you say “Punch Buggy” or “Punch Bug” while simultaneously punching the person you’re with. The punch doesn’t need to be hard. It is not necessary to add “No punch backs!” Punch backs are absolutely not allowed, and will cost you one point for each punch thrown. Not to mention, you will thereby be known as a “party pooper.”

One point is awarded to the first person who calls each Punch Buggy seen. If you wrongly identify a car as a Punch Buggy and call it, one point is deducted from your score. If you have already hit the person with whom you're playing and then the misidentification is confirmed, the person wrongly Punch Buggied may at his discretion double punch the offender immediately OR he may save the mis-punch until the next time you have a legitimate Punch Buggy and he can take the hit away from you. To do that, the victim of the misidentification and hit says "Save it for later." The next time you spot a legitimate Punch Buggy, you can still call it, however you are banned from following through with a hit. If you forget and hit anyway you forfeit the game and the other person wins.

This morning, I also got to thinking - What if Christians were like the Punch Buggies of the world? Shouldn’t we love God so much that our lives stand out from everything else (Matthew 22:36-38)? Shouldn’t our love for others and our willingness to serve them be something that brings joy to them (John 13:35, Galatians 5:13-14)? Regretfully, too often I am not that way. Sometimes it’s tough to make every aspect of my life as God-glorifying as it should be. And it’s even tougher to love everyone and – gasp – serve them! It’s comfortable to be on my parking lot in time out. But how many folks will pass by, seeking something from me before I leave my lot?

Just who’s driving this car anyway?

Wednesday, July 21

A Little Bling

One of the blogs I read daily is about beads.

(I know. I know. Probably cannot get more thrilling than that, right? But they have some pretty things and tutorials. And I am all about learning new techniques and getting inspiration. So that’s why I read it. And I’d appreciate you not getting all up in my face about it.)

Moving on.

Yesterday, on that blog, I came across this article regarding “bling for your cornea.” Or in other words, an eye piercing. And this would not be for your eyebrow, or your eyelid for that matter – it is a piercing of the eyeBALL. That’s right. Now, if you are like me, initially you are picturing what an earring stud looks like and you are imagining sticking something like that into the eyeball and you are thinking,”But how can this be? And WHY would this be?”

If you have a YouTube or a Google account, you can log in and watch the video of the procedure. Though I don’t recommend it if you are squeamish, or just an “eye wimp” like my husband. Lots of weird pricking and cutting and inserting happening in the video, resulting in a sparkly little jewel on the surface of the eye. Granted, I enjoy a bit of bling or stainless steel on or in the body. I’m not necessarily into piercings of all types, but I can at least appreciate most of them as an outlet of someone else’s persona. But I’m afraid I just can’t understand this one. Nor do I want to.

But that’s just me. What do you all think?

Monday, July 19

miscellany monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{1} chicken fried rice.
i had lunch with my new boss jackie. we ate thai, and it was yummy.  and my new job sounds really awesome.

{2} thar she blows.
bruce and i are going to florida next week for dad's 60th.  we plan to spend one day at the beach and lots of time in the pool.  so i broke down and bought a - gasp! - bathing suit.  and you know, i actually like it!  i bout it at avenue, for all of you plus-sized ladies out there who are looking.  :)  i love that store! 

{3} faith in a jar.
one more week until we open the faith jars at church.  will we have enough to cover the carpet debt?  i believe we will.  but even if we don't, god has taught me so much about faith over these last several weeks, and that lesson is worth more to me than any amount of money.

{4} my pretty pony.
today i am wearing my favorite ponytail holder, made by my friend jocelyn ala the trendy owl boutique at etsy.  she makes headbands and jewelry too, not to mention she is have a serious sale right now.  all you ladies should check it out!  she also has an awesome blog, where i discovered this miscellany thing anyway.  i will warn you though that i am not responsible for anything that happens once you see some of the recipes she posts.)

{5} gag.
i am really tired of justin bieber.

{6} best of nc.
i tried the cheerwine krispy kreme donut this weekend.  suprisingly, it was most enjoyable!  kind of like a chocolate-covered cherry flavor...  i highly recommend. 

{7} sweet.
on saturday, bruce and i took scarlett to the farmer's market. even though it was pouring and we were soaking, we bought blackberries and corn and brussell sprouts and sourdough bread with huge smiles on our faces. maybe because it was nice to get such yummy things, or because the rain was a welcome relief from the brutal heat we've been having, but most likely we smiled just because we were together.

{8} any day now.
have i mentioned that i am really, really ready for the college students to come back?

Thursday, July 15

Sweets for the Sweet

Scarlett suprised Bruce and me with a special treat last night - a cupcake from The Sweet Shoppe!  Oh so divine!  Oh so delectable!  Wasn't that - ahem - sweet of her?

The problem is today I have been thinking about all things cupcake.  I want to eat more of them.  I want to make them.  I'm trying to convince Scarlett to start a cupcake shop with me (OK, maybe not that seriously).

I did find some pretty interesting recipes though...




Devil's Food Cupcakes by Martha Stewart.  Why does the devil get to eat stuff that's so heavenly?




Coconut Lime Cupcakes by the Boastful Baker.  Perfect for summer!





Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake by lovestohost on AllRecipes.  Best of both worlds


I don't really understand this one, yet I am intrigued... It's the Cinnamon Swirl Sour Cream, Maple Cream Cheese, Strawberry and Bacon Breakfast Cupcake from Hollis Wilder on foodnetwork.com



And of course, combining 3 of my loves - coffee, chocolate and baked goods - the Special Mocha Cupcake by Taste of Home.



Mouth watering yet?

Tuesday, July 13

To Cure The Blues Creatively, Click Here

I am in a funk. Just feeling bleh. Not sure if it’s stress or pms or just the blues. Bruce would say it’s probably all of that and then some! (Though he really is VERY supportive when I am this way – he’s awesome.)

Bruce is going out to dinner a friend of his tonight, and I will stay home feeling “ponderous.” Maybe I will watch a scary movie and snuggle with the girls. More likely, I will work on something creative, which, I find, is quite therapeutic. In mind of this, I want to share a few tutorials for some adorable things that I want to make. I found them online.

Ashley of Make it Love it is sharing her house d├ęcor redo and making everything herself. She has all the projects listed under parts (part 1, part 2 etc.). I especially love this one of her Flower Wall Hanging.

I also love the idea of this adorable Felt Box by Marianne at applehead.  I feel like these could be decorated in so many creative ways!

Ooooohhhh, and isn’t this Felt Dahlia Brooch by Meahgan Reardon just gorgeous?

And aren’t these little Matchbox Valentines on Etsy’s Storque adorable? I want to make a bunch, and for all different people and in all different themes!  These would be such cute notes of encouragement - or little love notes! 

Just last night, I dug out my shrink dinks to try my hand making some shrink plastic jewelry. Check out this tutorial from Helen Bradley for some inspiration…

Hmmm...  which project to choose... 

Friday, July 9

Drum Roll Please

So I quit my job yesterday.

And as some of you might remember from my post on June 2 (see it here), it’s been all I could do to hang in there until now. I have accepted a position with the UNCG College of Arts & Sciences, in the Assistant Dean’s office, doing pre-grant work. This is a cause for…

JUBILATION AND GYRATION!

My boss got back from her vacation yesterday, and I politely waited until about 11 to tell her. She took it well – sort of a mixture of rage and sadness. It’s what I expected.

What I was not expecting, however, is the reaction I have gotten from everyone else. Disappointment. Sadness. Praise. Hugs. Even TEARS! What’s that about? I didn’t know I had made such an impact on these folks! Kinda makes me feel guilty for leaving. Kinda makes me wonder if I am making a mistake. Kinda.

I guess more than anything, it reminds me that there is never a moment when others are not watching, and that’s why it’s so important to live my life to bring glory to God as much as I can. Whether or not I am working. Hmm… Something for me to ponder….

James 3:13 - If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.

Matthew 5:16 - In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Thursday, July 8

I Won't Bite (Or Will I?)

A long, long time ago, in a house far, far away, little Becky discovered a phenomenon she would treasure for the rest of her life. It happened one Sunday afternoon, as Mother finished the dishes and Father napped in his chair. The TV was on, and I changed the channel. There on the screen appeared the black and white movie Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, in which the comedic duo meets Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster and the Wolf Man. And my love of all things scary was born.

Shortly thereafter, I sneaked a read of Ann Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot, and I fell in love with all things VAMPIRE! But I am a true vampire fan – not one of these Twilight junkies! Oh, how I am weary of hearing about Edward and Jacob!  True, vampires can be classy and wise and maybe even beautiful. But they are also killers of men and women, with long fangs and rank breath and claws. Vampires do not sparkle when sunlight hits them – they burst into flames. And sure, they might indulge in passionate kisses, but only when it precedes chomping down on a jugular. And there are multiple ways to kill them – albeit all of the ways are quite gruesome and quite bloody and quite able to make your skin crawl.

And that’s just vampires. Don’t get me started on zombies and werewolves and serial killers… Ahh, so many scary friends!  Yesterday, I watched Shutter Island, and it reminded me again of how much I love scary movies!  (Thanks, Scarlett, for the recommendation!)

I don’t know what it is about scary flicks that I love so much – The way they scare me? The blood? The psychotic behavior? I’m sure a psychiatrist would say it’s an outlet for my own deviousness or something.

Maybe.

Here’s a list of just some of my favorites:
  • Interview with a Vampire
  • 30 Days of Night
  • The Shining
  • Saw
  • Halloween
  • The Exorcist
  • Psycho
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Arachnophobia
  • Amityville Horror
  • Jaws
  • The Mist
  • Seven
  • Dawn of the Dead
Pop one of these into the DVD player, turn down the lights (if you dare), snuggle under a blanket, and enjoy!  Better yet, invite me over, and I'll watch with you!

Thursday, July 1

Long Live The King


Bhumibol Adulyadej is the current king of Thailand. He took the throne on June 9, 1946, and is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. Bhumibol is highly revered and is also protected by the Constitution as "inviolable,” or “secure from violation or profanation.” He has no right to charge anyone who insults or defames him, but anyone can file charges for him; the penalty is three to fifteen years in jail. Photos of the King are commonplace in homes and in businesses. Before movies, a short film about the King is played in theatres. He is seen as so important by the Thai people that his ill-health has affected the financial markets. People ADORE him!

Can you imagine if Christians treated Christ that way? What if we took the name and reputation of our Lord so seriously, that folks around us didn’t dare blaspheme or curse because they feared how serious our reaction would be? Do we even react at all any more when someone takes the Lord’s name in vain? What would it be like if we prayed, sang a praise song or read a Bible verse right before watching a movie? What if we had symbols of our faith all over the place – in our homes, our businesses and our offices? What about on our bodies? Bruce says we should behave as though we had the word “Christian” tattooed across our forehead. We should be forever-glorifying and respecting our Lord Jesus. And not just because we have to, but because we want to – because we love OUR King that much!

I’ll be the first to admit that I fail miserably at this at times. For whatever reason, it’s not easy to live every waking moment as though Jesus was right beside me – even though He actually is. I find myself “forgetting my faith” when it’s convenient. I don’t do this on purpose, mind you, but then sometimes, I’m not purposefully remembering my faith either. There’s been way too many times when I’ve been happy there wasn’t a Jesus fish on the back of my car when I’ve just had a bout of major road rage. Or when I recommend a questionable movie to a friend, I add the “It’s got a lot of language” pre-cursor (That makes it right, doesn’t it?). Or when someone upsets me, I blame my anger on their behavior. Or I blame my misdoings on my genetics or my upbringing or … As though sin has qualifiers that makes it ok sometimes.

Kinda makes me wonder why my King doesn’t just point at me and holler “Off with her head!!

But I already know the answer to that… It’s because He loves me. He gets upset when others mistreat me or speak against me. He sends His bodyguards to protect me from evil. He has my name written in the palms of His hands. He constantly watches me over me in love. He ADORES me!

What a thought - that a miserable wretch like me could capture the heart of the King.  :)

* Some info about Bhumibol Adulyadej was taken from Wikipedia.