Thursday, January 29, 2009


We've been iced under since Monday night. I worked from home on Tuesday because the roads were treacherous and my normally 45-minute to an hour drive would have easily turned into over 2 hours as it did last time I drove in the ice. On Wednesday, I decided that I'd come in a few hours late to avoid the morning rush hour, and spent two hours de-icing my car with spray and scooping snow with a plastic cup from my kitchen. Once I could see out of my windows enough, I got in the car and tried to reverse. It was to no avail. So I began picking my driveway with an ice pick and tried to dig my wheels out. It still didn't work. So I resigned to working from home another day. JT bought this organic ice melting stuff that did the trick. It also acts as fertilizer for your lawn. Yeah, buddy!

Moral of the story: someone didn't listen to her husband like she should have and learned the hard way that she should have bought new tires when he said to. I am researching tires and have an appointment tomorrow, thank you very much.

Yesterday, I got a call from my BFF saying she had a "small accident" and had to get blood drained from her fingers. Ow. Poor ice storm casualty! She's been without power for a few days, too. I am going to visit her next week when her power comes back on because I miss her and I'm worried about her poor beautiful fingers!

We are going to OKC this weekend for a benefit show for our friend Spencer Green, who passed away last year from cancer. It will be nice to spend time with friends and hear some great music. I am very much looking forward to it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

perfect weeknight salad

Here's a quick, easy salad we love! I always keep a bag of pre-washed, prechopped lettuce on hand because it's easy and encourages me to make more salad. I can use half the bag, reseal, and store in my crisper drawer for quite awhile.

My favorite bag variety is Dole's Hearts Delight and my favorite carton variety is Organic Girl's good clean greens. For this salad, I toss some Asian sesame dressing (Kraft has a great one) with crunchy noodles and a little white cheese. The sweet, crunchy flavor makes it pretty much universal for any meal!

Monday, January 26, 2009


just wanted to thank everyone for their sweet comments on the below entry! you are near and dear to me!

We had a relatively subdued weekend and deserved it. I didn't clean my kitchen until around midnight Sunday night, and somewhere between scrubbing day-old starch from my colander and thinking about the phenomenal lobster bisque I had for lunch and other blog entries, I had a novel idea. (We're talking epic proportions that cause light bulbs to snap on with an audible "ping!" and women and children everywhere to shout things like "Hark!" and "Eureka!")

For most, ideas come in mental images, projections of possible scenarios. My idea came in a subtitle: "Humble pie and other recipes from the kitchens of a wannabe foodie." My best friend LJ and my husband JT both started blogs this week. While my attempts were futile to come up with suitable titles for their entry into blog infamy, this subtitle hit me like a ton of bricks. The title, though somewhat boring, followed suit. It could be a potential book title, for that matter.

I created this new blog tonight with no intention of actually maintaining it, but I may change my mind at a decent time of day. Many of my entries, after all, are about food. Just in this entry alone, I was going to mention the killer bisque and this cute make-and-take pizza chain called Papa Murphy's where they assemble a pizza based on your choosing and you take it home and bake it. They also have the best chocolate chip cookies! Maybe I could make Skark the narrator since he has a birds-eye view of the goings on in my kitchen.


In other news, JT and I renewed our promise to each other to make the most out of life. Despite all of the unknown variables out there -- jobs, money, kids, etc. -- we are not going to be one of those couples constantly waiting for the next step, plugged into a screen. We are going to be intentional about enjoying life and its many experiences and not missing any opportunities, particularly in ministry. I will let you know what that looks like. His blog is private, and that is a disservice to everyone else. Underneath those rugged eyes and killer dimples, JT is a deep and honest thinker. He is intellectual, curious, and has amazing ideas.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Tonight, JT is coming home from Seattle where he has been since Tuesday on business. This was our first time to be apart from each other for more than 24 hours. While I missed him, I decided to take advantage of this time and my rediscovered -- albeit temporary -- singleness.

I made a list of things I wanted to do while he was gone that I don't get to do as much when he's here: fall asleep to a movie (I get the best sleep doing this), listen to loud angry girl music and/or opera while I cleaned, watch Food Network at any given moment, work on writing a story that's been formulating in my mind, and spend all evening at a bookstore.

I talked on the phone and skyped with girlfriends more than usual. I ate from a box. I figured out how to use the DVD player out of necessity. I got some pages written for the first time in years. I cleaned my kitchen to Heart and the extra room to the most earnest bluegrass music you'll ever hear – at full volume. While I wouldn’t trade my husband for anything, it was nice to do these things and fill my quota for the time being.

All of that made me very aware of singleness and the whole "Seasons" concept in this context. The popular song by The Byrds and a passage from the Bible have created a metaphor between the temporary stations and circumstances in life and the changes in the weather based on time and the earth's rotation.

On our honeymoon, ironically, I read a book called What a Girl Wants, recommended by OKChick. The main character divided her singles group at church into “Reasons,” meaning there’s a reason they are single, and “Seasons,” meaning they will only be single for a season.

This is a touchy subject, I know; it broaches an insecurity that I faced myself in college when the guys I crushed on never seemed to reciprocate my feelings. Was there something about me, an easy explanation for this? I have to admit there were times in my life when my singleness was a huge obstacle for me and the insecurity tainted everything I did, the way I looked at the opposite sex, and my motivation for life.

While I am happy that all of my single friends are thriving in their chosen professions and taking full advantage of the opportunities they have before marriage, it sincerely worries me that any woman could feel that way, that any woman could feel invalidated because of her singleness.

I don’t remember when that mindset passed exactly. Maybe my last semester of college? Somewhere along the way, I experienced the realization that this was my time, this was my season to grow in my relationship with Christ and improve myself in every aspect. That motivation enabled me to set goals. I read more about pretty much every subject. I examined my relationships and how I could be a better friend and servant to people. I did my best to develop healthy habits and stick to them. I took up running. I traveled to see friends. I journaled a lot and asked God to reveal Himself to me and reveal things about me that needed to change.

But most of all, I realized the most important thing of all: I was exactly where God wanted me. He still had things to teach me that I needed to know before I got married. While no human is ever complete or fully prepared for marriage, it helps to develop a mindset, skill set, and subtle strength of self-worth in Christ because getting married and putting one’s self-worth in a spouse doesn’t do any favors for man or wife.

To my single friends, take this to heart: remember that the Bible says it is not good for man to be alone. If you have the gift of “singleness” that many seems to dread, you are fully aware of it, embrace the call and have a peace about it. But other than the select few who are called to be single, you are destined to someday complete a man just like Adam’s rib completed Eve.

But until then, ask God to make His presence known to you and reveal ways that He can make you more complete.

And enjoy those lazy Saturdays, the extra time between shaving your legs in the winter, eating from a box, the unlimited chick flicks, and weekend trips on a whim.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

random facts about LB

  • seriously considered going to Europe to study opera after high school.
  • am a moderate vegetable and fruit snob: I analyze each piece and pick the best ones and only buy produce from Reasor's.
  • just made a bluegrass station on Pandora. I blame it on Nickel Creek. What is happening to me!?!? I also really like Heart right now. Go figure.
  • absolutely love fleece and wish it was socially acceptable to wear fleece pants in every setting during the winter.
  • can write for hours given the inspiration of a minute's time in a bookstore or an airport.
  • my favorite flavor is marionberry; my least favorite flavor is clove.
  • even after all these years, I'm still deathly terrified of my three childhood fears: clowns, felt hand puppets, and claymation.
  • wish I had a weimaraner or a fox.
  • read lots of Star Wars books, can quote about 60% of the original trilogy (I'm a little rusty), and am pretty much obsessed with Chewbacca. JT says I fell in love with him because he's like Chewie: loyal and hairy!
  • my favorite characters are: Neville Longbottom, Chewbacca, Aurora, Angus, the Wicked Witch (Elphaba), and Chunk. I'm forgetting someone very obvious.
  • pretty much everything I own has a name: Boromir the Sony Vaio, Neville Longbottom III the digital camera, Xi-Xi the Xterra, Truffle Shuffle the iPod Shuffle.
  • want to name my kids Maya, Violet, Emery, and Conner right now. This changes bi-annually probably.
  • been an ulcerative colitis patient since 2001.
  • did musical theater, choir, softball, basketball, and praise and worship band in high school.
  • would play Anita from Westside Story or Eponine in Les Miserables if I could play anyone.
  • my mother was told dancing wasn't for me by the instructor of my first and only dance class I ever took.
  • mullets are insanely funny and fascinating to me.
  • The Food Network can entertain me for hours. Giada, Michael Symon, and Ellie Krieger are my favs! (and Paula, of course.)
Places LB Wants to Visit:
  • English countryside
  • Scottish highlands
  • Ireland - anywhere and everywhere
  • vineyards in Italy
  • Washington state
  • California - upstate where the redwoods grow, San Franciso, San Diego
  • back to Costa Rica
  • Greece
  • Greenville, South Carolina
Favorite Places LB Has Been:
  • Costa Rica
  • Hood River, Oregon (and Portland)
  • Hill Country/Lake Travis outside of Austin
  • Indianapolis
  • Alaska
  • Buffalo River, or pretty much anywhere with rich green woods and a running stream

Monday, January 12, 2009


Project Scarlett is in partial effect.


Two things I have learned since my last post:

1) never write a post that complains about being busy because your friends will walk on eggshells around you to give you space. I wrote that more in reference to work and chore projects, but I am always game to spend time with a friend!
2) never cheer against your husband's team because it might come true. I wasn't cheering against them, I just enjoyed a good game from a somewhat neutral vantage point. The tides turned, however, with two minutes left in the game when I sent my dad a text that read, "The goalie :(" He knew exactly what I meant because I always feel horrible when they show a goalie after one has just gotten past him, or the kicker when he's just missed a crucial field goal. You get the point. I feel bad when the hopelessness and dejection sets in, all over their faces.

The funeral went well. He was such an amazing man. I could write an entire post about him and my memories and impressions of him, but let's just say this: for a man who suffered from cancer for over 6 years, he once told me that suffering was relative. That he'd gotten news of a relapse just because God had more work for him amongst the nurses and staff in the Portland chemo ward. It was great to see evidence of his hard work all around me. His funeral was standing room only, not only filled with his church family, but from fellow Nazarene pastors across the country, his large family, his doctors and nurses, and random people in the community that he had blessed in some way. The church looked like the Garden of Eden with 53 flower arrangements sent with sweet notes from well-wishers and loved ones.

It was great to support and help his wife and three daughters this weekend, get a quota of fresh mountain air to last me until next time, and eat as much marionberry everything as I possibly could. I got to read and write on our travel journey, and on the way back, we sat next to an older man who imparted wisdom and stories on us from an impressive war history, 8 collegiate, master and doctoral degrees, and almost 50 years of marriage.

On the way home, I finally started Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," and I will leave you with this quote that kind of has to do with my last post, and will definitely come with more commentary in a post coming soon:
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called
resignation is confirmed desperation."

Thursday, January 8, 2009


So I had this gorgeous post that actually had to do with domesticity (you know, the whole purpose behind this blog?) and it got erased about 3/4ths of the way through. I will continue that sometime soon.

For now, I will tell you that I got unwillingly volunteered to entertain my in-laws for the BCS national championship game of all things. So once again, I will be watching a big game with people who are cheering for the wrong team. And I also got volunteered to make sour cream chicken enchiladas, which take a few hours to assemble. Luckily I had the foresight to put two of the three parts together last night, but the step left today is the most time-consuming. We might not get to dinner until 8:00.

This all wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to also pack for Portland. We're catching an early flight tomorrow morning to my best friend's dad's funeral. He passed away early Monday morning after a six-year battle with cancer. A pastor from a huge family, this funeral is going to be one of epic proportions, and I'm so glad I get to be there for my college roommate and celebrate her dad's life and pay him tribute for the many ways he touched my life.

But first, I have to find a dress as my only black dress is a shiny party dress. Since my night is otherwise occupied, I am going during my lunch break, even though shopping is usually an hours-long, agonizing affair for indecisive me! I debated asking my roommate what she was going to wear, but thought better of it. That's the LAST thing on her mind right now and I might as well suffer eternal damnation for even thinking of troubling her with that. (But, you know, her dad seems like the type of person who could possibly request that everyone wear blue or go barefoot to his funeral, both of which have been requirements at two funerals I've been to in the past.)

Last night, I have to admit I was kind of in a funk. Sometimes I really resent being busy. Whenever people haven't seen each other for awhile and ask how another person has been, I've noticed that most of the time, people feel the need to qualify their answer with some form of the word "busy." I don't think being busy validates me or anyone at all. I hate it. I like my life to be as uncomplicated as possible, but somehow, new projects and drama and responsibilities always find me, and they always build up at the exact same time.

Is that just life? Does the pace increase at a lightning rate for every hour a person gets older? Am I doing everything I can to experience and savor and enjoy so I have no regrets when it's too late? Most importantly, is there any way I can evade busyness and drama and complication and just experience the beauty in life?

I will think on this and let you know if I find a way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

just fyi...

today is "everyone-email-LB-to-ask-why-X-hasn't-been-done-and-copy-every-boss-in-the-book" day.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

resolutions and updates

It's been awhile since I've posted anything of consequence. And the sad part is, I always think of stuff I want to blog about, but it seems that time escapes me. It must be that the amount of fun and excitement in one's life is directly proportional to not having time to blog about it.

I've been working a lot. October through January is pretty much the worst time to be on the other end of the book business because everyone wants a holiday release. Luckily, I see a clearing! On the other hand, JT's company stopped letting him roll over vacation time, so he had to burn 4 weeks' worth the month of December. Let's just say I have been very green with envy about that.

Also, I sort of stumbled across Twilight. I didn't mean to. My brother started reading it, of all people, and then a friend left it on my doorstep. So once I started, I was more annoyed by it than anything. I wanted to know what happened at the end, but the author really could have crammed everything she did into about two books. I was pretty pleased with it, even if I was kind of finagled into it!

Christmas went well. We spent time with his family and my family and gave and got some cool things. JT got me a new car radio! My old one would spit out CDs if I tried to switch to the next track or if my car hit a significant bump.

And suddenly it was New Year's! I hadn't even thought about my resolutions until yesterday.

I decided to go for a run. It was 60 degrees with a perfect breeze, I had my contacts on, my Truffle Shuffle was full of great new music: all of my OCD running requirements were met for once.

When I made it onto the main street strip near my house, a car stopped in front of me, and a young teenager runs out of the car and launches three stink bombs so they pop right when I run past them. I tried to breathe through my mouth, but I could taste them for about 1/4th of a mile. Gross.

So this is what I came up with resolution-wise:

1) better time management and organization in general: keep a planner and stick to it!
2) keep a writing journal and write something once a day
3) make dinner at least 3 times a week (and eat more fish)
4) try ballet, vegetarian cooking, making diaper cakes, growing my own herbs, playing the piano, and anything else that I've never done and always wanted to do
5) spend more time in worship
6) run a marathon?: a friend is running a marathon, but I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. am I really ready for constant shin splints, ravenous hunger, constant morning fights with my running shoes in the morning? I will think about it. this video will help:

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