Tuesday, December 30, 2008


As if life itself weren't a challenge enough sometimes!

I've been thinking about this past year... like most of the world seems to do when we get to the end of one. i've never been much of one to make *resolutions* per se, but i do have hopes and goals in general that i hope to achieve at some point.

Like this past year...
- I hoped to finally achieve my goal of running a half-marathon. Didn't.
- I hoped to knit a sweater. Did!
- I hoped to live in another state. Did!
- I hoped to become more of a bike commuter. Did!
- I hoped to get into seminary, start school, and do okay in it. Did, did, and hopefully did.
- I hoped to read a lot of books. Definitely did.
- I hoped to form deeper relationships with old and new friends. Pretty darn sure I did.
- I hoped to be more consistent in a lot of things. And I was, but not so much in those that I'd established as my priorities... it's hard to tell.

I want to listen well.
I want to love well.
I want to work hard.
I want to play hard.
I want to rest when I rest.
I want to give... life, encouragement, time, money, creativity.
I want to trust... God, my husband, friends, myself.

And I still want to run a half-marathon. :-)

...On a lighter note, we've got a challenge going here in the Rand family.

Rand Parents vs. ColoRands
Exercising Regularly (3x/wk)
We've got a little point system, a time frame, something to work for, and a little friendly rivalry. :-D

You'd think the Jer & I would have an advantage, but really we've been bad about doing any consistent and *real* exercise this past semester. I've maybe gotten out for longer than 15 minutes 1x/wk average in the past semester. Long time when I do, but... things don't even out that way.

It makes me happy though, because we all need to be moving around more regularly. And we all want to be able to do that together when we get together. :-D Anyone else want in??

* * * * * * *

P.S. I just whomped Jer & Jonathan in a game of Agricola. Who'da thunk?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pirate Hats & Duct Tape

I think that today has been one of the most hilarious Goudelock Family Christmases in a while. :-D Don't have long... gotta pack, but I figured I'd share a few highlights!

So, Jeromie and I have the cutest nieces and nephews... well, I guess we're kind of partial to them. But one of them, Iona, is an almost-4-year-old who has a slight affinity for pirates... and we found her a really cute pirate hat. She was feeling a bit un-piratey tonight, but that didn't stop a few of the adults from having fun with it. :-D




Along the theme of nefariousness (nefarity??), Jeromie and Baby Ewan played Christmas Ninja while I wrapped presents...

And Iona, got pink duct tape for Christmas!! (She asked for duct tape and a toy horse. Those were her Christmas wishes. Girl after my own heart. :-D )

Tis a little blurry... what can I say? that girl moves fast!

Tomorrow morning, we head for Alabamy to see these awesome folks (plus le RandParents, not shown), with whom we had an "iBrunch" this morning! :-D

There are too many highlights to show... like running with Diane... and the turkey-washing song... and the list goes on and on and on... :-)

Up Next: Who knows???

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warmth, or lack thereof...

There are a few blatantly obvious things that have been driven home for me this Christmas...

- it's cold outside. yes, even in SC. and people sleep in it.
- i've been taking a lot of things in life for granted.
- story is a beautiful, God-given gift.
- i love and appreciate my family, and I don't tell them that enough.
- i'm pretty sure that the last realization goes for my friends too...

The past few months have been full of newness and busy-ness and more reading crammed into the smallest time frame than any other time in my life, but I feel like they've also been full of a sort of inaction. I suppose it's the learning-first-then-doing sort, but it's a little hard to stomach and I find myself wondering if I could've been a better steward of these few short months. Continued food for thought, not reason for despair. :-)

But story, oh story! I have been devouring stories, enthralled by them. (Reminds me of a post I made sometime earlier in the year about wanting to read Scripture that way... I think I got more than I bargained for in that department. :-D Open-mouth-in-front-of-gushing-fire-hydrant-style. No complaints, though... I just know a few things I need to change as I move into this next semester...) My picks for holiday reading so far have ranged from Jean Duprau's City of Ember to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to some thought-provoking non-fiction... I don't know what else will enter the list at this point. I'm just hungry for good story and I can't quite put words to it right now.

A Christmas Eve playlist, (courtesy of Jeromie, crafted for Ewan):
- "Trumpet Child" by Over the Rhine
- "Hymn 101" by Joe Pug
- "Take Me Home" by Genesis as covered by Dave Smith
- "John Saw That Number" by Neko Case
- "Sometimes" by Punch Brothers
- "Rains in Asia" by Jump
- "Quiet" by This Will Destroy You

Hop on over to Jeromie's blog sometime tomorrow for some thoughts on these... in the meanwhile, I'm diggin'em.

Up Next: Pirate Hats & Duct Tape

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


"God is over all things,
under all things,
outside all,
within, but not enclosed,
without, but not excluded,
above, but not raised up,
below, but not depressed,
wholly above, presiding,
wholly without, embracing
wholly within, filling."

~ Hildevert of Lavardin

Monday, December 22, 2008


"...growing up never ends; we never get there. I am still in the process of growing up, but I will make no progress if I lose any of myself on the way."
- Madeleine L'Engle, Walking on Water

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Much-needed laughs!

So... the past few weeks have been CRAZY. I only pulled one all-nighter in my whole career as an undergrad, and now I've pulled three... and I haven't really been procrastinating or wasting time either. Well... sometimes I do, but not enough to cause a problem with completing my work. :-) A week & a half left... that's all I have to say. Well... not really. I have more.

Lack of sleep makes me loopy. Most of you know that. I've been loopy half the day, aided by a pretty hilarious email from my dear friend Joel in SC.

Insert your name for mine, your significant other, best friend or favorite stuffed animal for Jeromie's, and take heart, ye overwork-ed students! :-D

* * * * * * *

What's up Liz?
I figure you are keeping busy. Because, like, school does that to people. But, when you graduate, you can get PAID!!!! And once you get paid in full, you and Jeromie can get the tricked out ride. I'm talking rims, hydraulics, chrome and leather! Fo' real! Ya'll could get phat bling and pit bulls and bling for them too. B/c dogs need gold. I mean, you could live your own rap video (profanity optional - gotta keep it Christian). You could get medallions so big and wide that they are no longer medallions, but gongs. Only you can answer the question, when does a medallion become a gong? You could like straight wear one, and Jeromie could bang it with the gong stick and everybody would know when you guys are near.

I hope the above picture gives you hope and determination to carry on :)

* * * * * * *

Joel is pretty awesome.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Long time, no post... I know, and I am rather sorry!

It's not that I have nothing to write about... it's more that I have too much to write about for things other than blogs! To give you an idea of this past month, the last two weeks (combined with this one that i'm just beginning) have contained:
- 6 papers (4 of them major & lengthy)
- 2 group projects
- a moderately ridiculous & late midterm
- 2 legitimate all-nighters
- at least 4 routine quizzes
- all the normal reading, and...
- life, with all its curveballs.

Today, I'm camped out in the library yet again with what will likely be an 18-page paper, due tonight at midnight. I'm about half done with the writing and 2/3's done with the research, so there's still a good bit left to do.

I just wanted to share a picture that illustrates my day:

Mis-labeled Dr. Pepper
- caffeinated
- computerized
- library-based, and
- inside out!

Hah! who needs sleep??!?!?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Pigeon for President!

I'm taking a short break from the "paper mill" (as a classmate affectionately calls this time of the semester) to say that I am RELIEVED. Election Day isn't over yet, but I made my decision and voted and I'm DONE with this election.

Done. Done. Done.

I've joked about writing in Pigeon for president, but I didn't really do that. :-) But just imagine...

Pigeon for President!

- Hot dogs for everyone! (Veggie, Kosher, Beef, whatever you like!)
- No bedtimes!
- Puppies and Walruses galore!
- Strong support for better education, by providing high quality literature to children everywhere - especially Pigeon books by Mo Willems!
- Reduction of wasteful campaign spending by driving his very OWN bus!
- Personal jetpacks for every man, woman and child so that all Americans can experience the joys of un-impeded personal flight!
- Respect for the feelings of feathered friends because, you know, Pigeon has feelings too!
- All attitude, all the time!

What children's book character would you write in??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

(Not so) desperate times...

Several of my East Coast buddies have asked if it's cold here yet. The answer is emphatically, yes... for now. It's not as cold as it's going to get, but it's starting to move more consistently in that direction. My housemate, Cori, told me there's a saying for the Denver climate: "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." So... who knows? It could be 70 out tomorrow. But for the past few days, the lows have been in the 30's, which makes for a chilly ride to class!

However, it's not consistently cold enough yet to turn the heat on...

And I'm conflicted about using the natural-gas fireplace... (expensive to run, but oh-so cozy!)

So I've gotten marginally creative:

international (midterm study) space station:
- coffee (mexican)
- candles
- computer
- quizzes for review
- lotsa notes

As I set up my little study space (complete with a little fire), I jokingly told Jeromie that "desperate times call for desperate measures," but realistically these are nowhere near desperate times or desperate measures. I was just being the dork that I am.

Hopefully sometime soon I will find the time to post about some of the incredibly thought-provoking aspects of my classes & experience here so far... but for now, I must study.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Easily amused...

I can't believe it, but we're already half-done with the fall semester here at Denver Seminary! Argh! Midterms are upon us!!

This can mean a number of things in my personal world, some of which are:
- greater evidence that i can be easily amused in general
- more time-sensitive tasks to complete
- less sleep in order to complete said tasks
- more instances of giddy-tiredness
- lower threshold for easy amusement at minor things

What amused me today?

The fact that the brand of toilet paper used by the seminary is "Heavenly Soft."

My nose has been running incessantly all day... and of course I forgot my handkerchief-thingy... so that means using TP for kleenex. I sure hope heaven's softer than that toilet paper! :-)

Just thought I'd share that for the benefit of those of you who are also easily amused (or mush-brained from mid-terms)!

* * * * * * *

In other news, Jeromie's brother, Jonathan, came out to visit this weekend, which was awesome! (Thanks, brother!) And I finally blocked the Shalom sweater! And I made it through last week without any embarrassing outbursts! And God is, as always, reminding me of how good He is!

And... I should probably get back to work... Whatever happened to "everything in moderation?!??" :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Friday!

Jeromie + Jonathan + me + cinnamon roll & coffee @ Blueberry's + Colorado in general + weekend is here = beautiful end to a rather crazy crazy week.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Procrastination Station

The other name for... facebook. and gmail. and... my blog. Sorta.

Actually, I've been fairly responsible in moderating my web-related distractions so far this semester, as evidenced by the dearth of interesting blog posts. Heh... that might be going to far to assume that any of them are interesting in the first place. ;-) Anyhow, I've decided to take advantage of this particular procrastination station for a few moments to tell the world (or at least by east-coast homeys) that autumn has finally come to Colorado. The past few weeks have included highs in the 80's, which is in no way autumnal... but this week has become crisper and more colorful by far, and I'm giddy about it!

So far, I've celebrated autumn with:
- a run in which i wished for warmer clothing,
- a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins,
- some yellow garden vegetable curry,
- an Irish Cream mocha from Blueberry's,


- a hike in Deer Creek Canyon, which is practically in our backyard.

This week is cram-packed with projects and assignments to finish, but I've got a a faithful Father, an amazing husband, good friends, a project on my knitting needles, and a plan of action... so I think I'll make it.

That is, if I survive Jon Buck's dead-fly-carrying paper airplane...

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I may have committed, today, the most embarrassing act in my entire life thus far... I'm still evaluating it. But since I have grown enough in the past year or so to be able to laugh at myself... and since it apparently amused my professor, I'll share it here.

To set the scene: This week has been rough from the start. I was exhausted-sick all weekend and Monday, a little better but loopy Tuesday, a little worse but moderately okay Wednesday, and a little better again but REALLY LOOPY today. On top of this roller-coaster of wellness, I also have quite a number of things due in the next week that have me rather stressed out. And midterms are approaching. And, oh yeah... did I mention that I'm loopy today??????

Location: OT 511 with Dr. Hess - the most intense class I've ever had the privilege to take. It's just a lot of information, and Dr. Hess is pretty brilliant... and my head usually feels like it's going to explode before we get to the first break.

It's a three-hour/once-a-week class. And did I mention it's intense??

So, picture me sitting with a few friends about two-thirds of the way back in a classroom that can probably seat near 100 students. We've already exchanged a few glances (and messages on facebook - I promise I don't normally do that in class, but today's been crazy) to the effect of "break. soon. please." Just when I thought I couldn't handle any more, Dr. Hess goes, "Okay, so... let's take a break now."

Before I knew what was happening, my hands SHOT up in the air and I shouted "YES!!!"

And then I hid under the table and turned about 10 shades of red.

Thankfully, Dr. Hess seemed pretty amused.

I spoke with him after class and sincerely apologized for my outburst, and he seemed to understand. I love the class... it's *really* interesting, but today... well... today it was just too much for my enfeebled brain to handle.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two Nerds Shopping

A few days ago, Justin posted the following amusing web-comic with the conclusion that he and Erin are nerds...

Well, it appears that Jeromie and I are nerds as well.

In addition to riding our bikes to Target/the grocery store with a mass amount of carrying capacity, we spent probably an hour debating over the best organizing strategy for Jeromie (in lieu of the options he's already picked out, which turned out to be unnecessarily expensive). Then we pedaled over to Sunflower Market (which is awesome) and proceeded to make a usually quick grocery trip take nearly twice as long. See web comic.

The moral of this story: I should probably go grocery shopping alone if time is ever an issue.

But, I shall embrace my nerd-dom and share with you my new favorite toothbrush. That's right, I said toothbrush.

the wild toothbrush in its natural habitat!

I'm notoriously hard on toothbrushes, so it came as no surprise to look at it this morning and decide I needed a new one. I read somewhere a few weeks ago about toothbrushes with removeable/replaceable heads & figured I'd see if the environmentally-conscious Sunflower had any. They did... and the price was competitive with the sorts of toothbrushes I normally get... especially when you take into account the cost of the heads you replace them with!

So, I have a new toothbrush.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Of Hobbits and Happy Trails

I must say, I've had a pretty happy day.

Our hiking venture was full of fail (for lack of planning), but we've had a great time anyway! After a month here, Jeromie and I figured it was about time for some mountains, but we really had no idea of where to start without tackling on of the (in)famous Colorado 14-ers. Don't get me wrong, we'd love to hike five or ten or all of them, but we didn't want that to be the first trip out... so, on the recommendation of a new friend, we headed toward Boulder.

Fail factor #1: a late start (what with work, cleaning and laundry that needed to be done)

Fail factor #2: lack of a packable lunch

Fail factor #3: the decision to stop in Boulder for lunch

Upon entering Boulder, we headed for Pearl Street, and that was the end of any plans for hiking... downtown Boulder is just plain crazy. Perhaps it was just today, since there was a fall festival going on, but I feel like we saw a little bit of everything there, and it was awesome. We grabbed lunch at a place called the Falafel King (which was delicious), then puttered around taking the place in. We ended up spending a looooooooooooong time in a kite/toy store (can't remember the name) and found a furry friend that very nearly came home with us:

From K100D

They also had some hilarious band-aids at this toy store, like ones with sushi, kiss marks, pirate symbols, or Jesus on them. I don't know why, but sushi band-aids are kind of tempting to me. :-)

Once we finally wrenched ourselves free of the toy store, we headed for the car to salvage the plans for hiking, at which point the sky decided to threaten rain and then *dump.* We still might've made it out, had we not found a cozy coffee/bike shop in a TRAIN.

A bike/coffee shop in a train in the rain in the mountains.

From K100D

Folks who know me well will recognize that this is a win/win/win/win situation in my book... a lot of my favorite things all rolled into one. Add some thunder (of which there was some), and you've got one happy Liz. The only thing that could've made it better would be either hiking before, or biking to get there.

We'd planned on finding a coffee shop to crash & study in anyway, so we stayed. And it was the awesome. And it's still the awesome... because we're still there.

* * * * * * *

In other news, we now have confirmation that Jeromie is a hobbit:
- he has furry feet
- he eats about 8 meals a day
- he lives underground (mmmm... basement)
- and he gives presents on his birthday!

Meet Maple:

From K100D
She's an MSI Wind Notebook... about 10 inches wide & 3lbs. Tiny and cute. After a few weeks of school, we realized that one computer and two paper-writers was just not working out. While I love Macs to pieces, they don't make any particularly small and affordable laptops... thus we started looking at windows machines and found out about netbooks... which is what this thing is. Small, very portable, and great for all the things I typically use a computer for. What's funny is that Maple makes Jeromie's Macbook look fat... and Macbooks aren't fat at all! She came in the mail yesterday, and I've already been vastly more productive. :-D

Anyhow... back to my studies.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Itteh Bitteh Mad-Typin' Committeh

Yes, that is a spoof on the LOLcats. It's also an apt description of my new laptop, but more on that later... I've got a bike to ride!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Um, so...

I promise I didn't fall off the edge of the earth. Really, I'll just have to agree with Corey. Grad school & sleeping are not exactly compatible some days. Grad school & blog posts are not exactly compatible most days. Unfortunately, neither are grad school and sewing, painting or taking the time to start a new knitting project. So far. But I still have a lil' hope.

One thing grad school is conducive to though (at least in our current living situation): riding bicycles. So far, Jer and I haven't taken the car to school yet... and we went about 2 weeks on a quarter tank of gas... only using that because we were heading to Nebraska!! All this bike riding makes me *very* happy.

Nevertheless, we've swapped our SC plates & licenses for CO ones:

The house in the background is the one that Ben and Cori Hamilton are so graciously sharing with us (for a small fee). We live in the rather well-lit basement & share the kitchen. We're really loving it so far... especially the "book nook" that we set up in the living room. At some point, I'll take some pictures, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Our commute to school is a whopping 1.75 miles (3.5 round trip), so we intend on riding regardless of the weather (even in the winter if we can manage it).

Pigeon likes it here... thinks there are plenty of shenanigans to be had, but hasn't been caught in the act yet... at least around Denver. But in Nebraska on the other hand...

He pulled a fast one on the Mattisons by moving the pig!

He snatched the camera and snapped a picture...

He checked on the bikes on the way home
(cause it was *super* windy)

aaaaaand... when we stopped at the Pony Express historic spot on the way home he insisted that "Nooooooo, it's not Pony Express, it's Pigeon Express... you know, homing pigeons?? they've been around for waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay longer. The horse & rider?? Oh, that's just our mascot!"

- - - - - - -

B vs. C: 171.2 / 52.4*

*(This does *not* count road trips. The goal is to use bikes more around town. Had it not been for the DNC though, we would've taken the train to Nebraska!)

And the winner of the 100th post drawing is... Teresa from Affectioknit! I used a random list generator & she came out on top! Maybe next time I'll draw names creatively, but I am just toooooo tired. (Please email me your address!! eliz(dot)rand(at)gmail(dot)com)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Surrounded by boxen.

Well, we made it, and we brought the rain with us! It's starting to feel like the Rands have the gift of rain since both our long-distance trips this summer have been to places that don't get all that much and it starts raining as soon as we get there... Red Lodge, Montana, and Littleton, Colorado. We got here Friday and got our first glimpse of blue sky & mountains this morning! Since the weather's been nice this afternoon, we unloaded the POD... now we're surrounded by boxen. Boxen upon boxen upon boxen.

(Translation: Boxes. Boxes here, boxes there, boxes freakin' everywhere!)

Since arriving, I've been downright giddy. I love the couple we're living with, I love the town we're living in. I love the bike trails that criss-cross the city. I love the mountains outside the front door. I love the cool, dry air. I love the fact that our housemates (who own the place) have an incredible garden in the backyard - an itty-bitty corner that produces a whole lot of stuff! (Maybe Cori's green thumb will rub off on me!) Most of the time, I feel like I'm home... but there's still a lingering feeling of having been uprooted. This uprooted feeling hit me like a train (even though I saw it coming) this morning at church. I realized that as much as I love it here, what's missing is deep-rooted community: the kind that comes from wrestling and discussing and playing and being together, the kind that comes from being real and open and honest, the kind that loves unashamedly, the kind that comes from fighting for each other, the kind that takes time. The kind that doesn't happen in a weekend. :-)

I miss my DCF family, scattered as it now is. I miss the pilgrims I walked with there. But at the same time, I look forward eagerly to the time I will spend here - wrestling and discussing and playing and being together in a new (to me) community, being real and open and honest, loving unashamedly, fighting for the family I will soon join, for as long as God sees fit for us to dwell in this place.

* * * * * * *
P.S. I hope to get the boxen under control by the end of the week, at which time I'll draw a name and having a special block-printing party just for that person!

Bike vs. Car: 8.7mi / 2.7mi :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 8 - Rollin', rollin', rollin'... in!

So, today's our final day of travel. Somewhere around 5pm mountain time, we should be rolling into our new town. Heh. "Town." Don't know if Littleton/Denver qualifies as a town. :-)

Here's the route:

View Larger Map

On tap for today:

- delicious breakfast at the Parkview House B&B
- adios Amarillo!
- hola pseudo-backroad that will take us through part of NM
- maybe a small-town antique store or two?
- ugh... hola interstate...
- shenanigans of some sort, mixed with driving driving driving
- arrive in Littleton & meet our housemates, the Hamiltons!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 7 - Dallas to Amarillo... still in TX

Today, we'll venture "onward and upward, whichever way that may be-" to quote my Grandy. In this case, it means heading out of Dallas in a generally northwestish direction toward Amarillo:

View Larger Map

On tap for today:
- stockpiling a bit of Dublin Dr. Pepper
- lots of Texas
- finding a good place to picnic, since my grandmother (who we call Mom-Pat) packed us an incredible lunch
- consuming some yummy Dublin Dr. Pepper
- more Texas
- stopping for the night at a bed & breakfast Jeromie found in Amarillo

Off we go!

Days 4, 5, and 6 - Messing with Texas

We've been in Dallas for the past couple of days hanging out with my family (mom, grandparents, aunt). We had trouble connecting to the internet initially, and decided not to bother with it until last night, so I'll edit this post later to add pictures & details of the fun.

Messing with Texas included:
- Dallas traffic
- expanding my mental map
- lots of outings with my mom
- a trip to the Dallas Museum of Art (Pigeon got attacked by an old Japanese warrior!)
- dinner with Leafy (Adam Green Grace)
- messing with the lifeguards at my mom's YMCA
- yummy Einstein Bros. bagels
- lots of monkey-doodles and merry-sunshines
- Dublin Dr. Pepper

Check back in a week, and I will have (hopefully) updated the post to include pictures.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Denver-bound, Day 3 - Mobile, AL to Dallas, TX

View Larger Map
Day 3: Mobile, AL to Dallas, TX

On tap for today:
- early morning walk with Darla (hopefully!)
- drink some coffee
- drive a lot
- take pictures of Pigeon at every state line
- sing along to a lot of songs
- probably cry some more when we think of the incredible people we've left
- drive a lot
- drive a lot
- collapse on my grandparents' floor in Dallas!

Anyone know of any interesting stops on this route??

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Denver-bound, Day 2 - Rockin' out in Mobile, AL

You know, sleeping in is awesome. Today has been the first day in weeks that I had the option to, and boy did I ever need to and take advantage of it. Just thought I'd share that. I don't prefer to sleep in, but sometimes it's a necessity.

So... today is a non-travelling day. We're in Mobile hanging out with the Rand side of the family and I *love* it. I am definitely a Rand at heart... no less a Goudelock, but definitely a Rand. Twas a perfect day to be here too... it's Darla's birthday and the weather played nice! We slept in, bummed around the house, and then went golfing at a local Par 3 course. I've never played golf before, so it was pretty amusing.

My impression of me golfing:
- 25% of the time - wind up, swing, keep swinging in a circle without hitting the ball
- 25% of the time - wind up, swing, dig a hole to China
- 40% of the time - wind up, actually hit the ball and make it go about 10 feet
- 10% of the time - wind up, actually hit the ball and get it actually kinda near the green!!!

All in all, twas a fun time though. Pigeon came along and elicited a chuckle from the golf course guy, who said he was the hugest club cover he'd ever seen. Pigeon also managed to keep his mouth shut for the most part, til the end when he begged for a picture with the Noodle ball & pouted when he didn't get it. :-)

Don't worry, he's been in plenty though:

Eating cars in Georgia

Signing the guest book in Alabama

Celebrating Darla's birthday in Mobile

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Well, we're officially en route to our new home.

View Larger Map

Day 1: Clemson, SC to Mobile, AL with a stopover in Atlanta!

On tap for today:
* breakfast with Kalbaughs
* little bit of driving
* lunch with the most awesome Diane and Drew
* good bit of driving
* 2 nights & a day with the Original Random Rands

We've made this trip many times before, so we're not in new territory yet... but I'm curious - does anyone have any interesting stops or stories along this route?? :-D

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Take Me Home...

Well, the move's starting to sink in. Before the POD arrived this morning, it didn't take too much of a stretch to imagine that, perhaps, we were re-arranging the house. The normal person doesn't pack things up in boxes for a simple re-arrangement, but, hey, we're not exactly normal people here in the Rand house, so it could happen. This definite sign of uprooting has brought tears to my eyes much more easily than before. (For example: turning onto the campus that I once hated but now love to meet someone for lunch, hearing the first few notes of a song that I love sung by a favoritest musician.) I suspect this may continue for a while after we've moved too, especially when remembering the folks I'll miss & the unique places I've dwelled these past many years.

You know, I've called these places home because they are what I know of home:
- little house, large yard, plenty of trees (until I went off to college)
- a dorm room or apartment shared with a variety of fun characters (myself included!)
- the forests of my fluffy Blue Ridge Mountains
- the high limbs of favorite trees
- a cabin full of excited girls
- a tent miles from the nearest road
- a room full of truth-telling, BS-detecting family known collectively as house church
- a house in Greenville, an apartment in Clemson with my dear husband
- a basement full of folding chairs and leaks, surrounded by fellow children of an incredible, merciful Father
- eyes closed, lost in the music of the DCF band
- a deserted road on an early morning, by bike or running shoes
- a green lake surrounded by old peaks, history speaking from its depths
- deepening friendships with grace-giving fellow pilgrims

I could go on for a very long time.

I was reminded this morning (as I drove in to meet my beautiful friend Rachael for lunch) that these are only previews of home. Surprisingly, the song that usually reminds me of this is not a typical worship song... it's my favorite cover of any song ever: Genesis' "Take Me Home" as done by Dave & Co. Singing along (in the car... yes, I am one of *those* people), I remember that I am a pilgrim on a journey to the home God created us for. This doesn't mean I should disconnect from this world I'm in, but rather engage - love deeply, serve joyfully, persevere purposefully, ask meaningful questions, give meaningful answers, think bigger, believe even bigger than that, because God is beyond what I can fathom, and He's made a way to live and breathe and dwell with Him, wretched as I am.

That might be the longest run-on sentence ever. Or not. I don't care. :-)

The countdown stands at ~3 days now, but it's ticking onward. I will not coast through them, as I am prone to do, but live awake and aware as I'm called to. I'll probably cry some, but I really do welcome that now. :-)

* * * * * * *

P.S. This just happens to be my 100th post as the Prodigal Pilgrim. I feel like that (and so many other things) might just call for some celebration.

So. I'm giving away something handmade!

Set of 5 hand-printed cards,
which are also available in my Etsy shop

When I arrive in Denver, I'll do a random drawing to figure out who gets them. In the meantime, leave me a comment that includes your name and how you found the blog! If you pass it along to another friend who enters, I'll stick your name in again just for kicks. I'm a little curious to find out how people get here. :-)

We roll into Denver on the 15th, so sometime that weekend, I'll post the winner.

Saturday, August 02, 2008



* * * * * * *

Pigeon is the awesome main character of Mo Willems' illustrated children's books. Pigeon is also a puppet that's been living at the Open Book until this past Thursday. Pigeon now lives with the Rands. He thoroughly understands that he is in no way a replacement for Molly. Molly is irreplaceable. But he also thoroughly understands that living with the Rands means shenanigans... and a move to Denver. In classic pigeon style, he's been begging to drive the moving truck. The jury's still out on that one.

So here are some pictures of Pigeon's life so far with the Rands:

After his last day at the Bookedy, Pigeon eyes the hummus & pita at the Rands' favorite Greenville restaurant, The Bohemian!

Pigeon promptly selects a choice pita and... NOM!

Pigeon jams out with his flamingo friend at Horizon Records
(which is the awesome)

Pigeon participates in the tired & slightly blurry reading of a very good bedtime story for his new family

And now... on to the packing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Well, I'd resolved to be a bit better about updating, and then I promptly got a whole lot worse. I think I have a tendency to behave that way when attempting to make a change in habits, or at least small ones. I suppose finishing up work and preparing to move could be a bit of an excuse, but I don't much like excuses. I would like my blog to be a bit more of a priority in the coming months as Jeromie and I move away from the people that have been our family and the places that have been our home for the better part of the past ten years. I've found that it is so incredibly easy to lose touch with the people that matter to me. Having been a loner most of my life, I lean a bit much toward letting life get in the way of the relationships that matter to me.

I don't want to do that anymore.

But that may be a post for another day. Right now, I'm taking a breather from a mass amount of sorting and a lesser amount of packing. Moving across the country seems like a great opportunity to get rid of some things I've been toting around for a long time. A little-used guitar, a picnic basket, a microwave-cooking dish from the 80's, some old books, old toys, old perspectives, old habits. Two weekends ago, we had a yard-sale to get rid of some of these things... quiet moments and long, lonely Monday commutes have given space to work on discarding others.

Moving across the country also requires good-byes, and it just so happens that some of our friends are moving to other states at the same time so this isn't a unique good-bye time for the Rand family. Dubbed Blubberfest 2008 by one friend, the past week has brought many tears and I am grateful for each one. It's been a long time since I could cry freely, and it's freeing to be able to now. This past weekend, we did the hard thing of taking our good dog-friend, Molly, to a new home. While I truly believe that she will be happier with the Moores (who have a good, semi-rural 10 acres for her to roam on) than she would be in the *tiny* dog-friendly apartment we'd be able to afford in Denver, it was still hard to settle her there and then just leave. It was hard on Sunday to look Ed in his tear-filled eyes and exchange the peace of Christ in the middle of so much tension, to realize that there were some folks I was seeing for the last time and love them well. It will be hard tomorrow to load up a moving van with the Colliers and realize how much the boys will grow before we get to hug them again. But hard is not bad, and the peace of Jesus is not dependent on emotion, but is rather so much more.

A week and a half or more of Blubberfest to go. Bring it on. :-)

I don't feel like I've done justice to the events of the past few weeks... and the ones that are coming in the next few... but at this moment in time that is not necessarily my blog's purpose. :-) In all likelihood, it will remain a window into my continuing journey with and towards God. I like the thought of a blog as a window: you can open it and share a moment with your neighbor even if you can't get to their house at just that moment. Or you could stick a pie in it... um... figuratively speaking? I just have random retro-image-moments of little boys sneaking fresh-baked pies out of windows.

Here I go rambling again. Oh well... back to this:

photo courtesy of the fantastic Jer

Tuesday, July 15, 2008



* * * * * * *

Where are all the days going?! In less than a month, Jeromie and I will be filling up another one of these crazy trucks, this time to head across the country. I suppose the swift current of days may indicate some coasting on my part... some dozing off, some drifting along. It happens more than I'd like. I either get super-busy or just worn out, and this time I think it's busy-ness. However, Jeromie and I have both been challenged lately to live and think and pray more alertly. Part of that is just the nature of change: there's work to do in finding a place to live and getting the move on, but I believe that God is stirring things up in our hearts and preparing us for something big. He's called us to listen and obey, and as we have taken each step, He's been providing. It looks like He intends that for where we physically live as well, but not without some difficult questions - one of which being: "What is your life centered around?"

As Jeromie and I have wrestled with that question, we've found too many things vying for the center. Work, creative projects, relationships, books, appetites, the comfort and ease of a car... a furry, yellow ball of energy and affection. In preparing for the move, that furry yellow ball (my awesome Molly-dog) has come to occupy more and more of our thoughts and emotions and wrestling... eventually to the exclusion of much else. You know what that makes? A dog-centered universe. A bit dyslexic of us, don't you think?

We've had to ask some hard questions in response, and consider more than just our desire to have this beautiful creature in our lives. To go where Jesus is often means leaving people, places, creatures and things behind - often much-loved - and we are not exempt from this. So, we're examining what this means in our lives and trying to discern what we must leave behind. Who knows, it may mean selling all we have and heading to Denver with what fits in/on our car. Right now, it seems that it will mean parting, at least for a time, with a very dear, six-and-a-half-year friend.

All I know is that I want to go where God is, and I want to live how He calls me to - whatever that entails. I want to ask and be asked the hard questions of what that really means in practice. I want to live generously and out of the sheer, life-giving love that Jesus embodied, embodies, and will ever continue to.

Tall order. Need grace.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hello, my name is...

Old-School Fred... or well on my way there,
i've got one pant-leg rolled up... the other down

* * * * * * *

Yesterday on a quick bike errand to feed the BenninKitties, Jeromie made a comment that I didn't quite understand.

(in a valley-girl-ish voice): "Liz, you are such a Fred"

A Fred?! What the heck is a Fred?!

So I asked, and he showed me when we got home... and I'm down with my Fredness. I'm less of a Fred now than I used to be, but who knows? We're about to be a two-student family.

According to the Dictionary of Bicycling Slang, a Fred is:
1) n. a person who spends a lot of money on his bike and clothing, but still can't ride. "What a fred -- too much Lycra and titanium and not enough skill." Synonym for poser. Occasionally called a "barney". (I am NOT this one. For one thing, I don't have the money... for another thing, I've been biking for a loooooong time.)

2) n. a person who has a mishmash of old gear, does't care at all about technology or fashion, didn't race or follow racing, etc. Often identified by chainring marks on white calf socks. Used by "serious" roadies to disparage utility cyclists and touring riders, especially after these totally unfashionable "freds" drop the "serious" roadies on hills because the "serious" guys were really posers. This term is from road touring and, according to popular myth, "Fred" was a well-known grumpy old touring rider, who really was named Fred.

Another definition found on the bike forums is someone who is functional with no regard to fashion, i.e. milk-crate on the back-rack... or one pant leg rolled up.

We looked a bit further and found some information about the guy who was the original Fred and, in my opinion, he's freakin' awesome. Look up Fred Birchmore of Athens, GA, or start with this article: Oldest living Dog has unique tale.

I think I could only aspire to be that kind of Fred. :-)

Off to this morning's adventure: the Anderson Jockey Lot. I was told I couldn't move away without going at least once.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Inspired 7/7/08

* * * * * * *

Lotta Jansdotter - After hearing much buzz in the general sewing community about her various fabric designs (which are quite cool!), I came across a book at work that she'd published about printing. I borrowed the book for a few days, then purchased it because I'd pretty much fallen in love with the printing process. I'm now eyeing some of the sketchy potatoes in our pantry in a more friendly manner. :-)

Bikes - I *love* my bicycle. I've had it for about 10 years now, though I've sorely neglected it in favor of the mountain variety (or other pursuits) for most of college & post-college. Well, the bike is back, and the Liz is all the happier for it! I think I'm addicted... which could be a good thing, since it'll be my primary source of transportation in Denver. :-D

Katie Herzig - So, I got an email from the Derek Webb mailing list about NoiseTrade, headed over to check it out, and found out about this phenomenal and fun singer/songwriter. Her Apple Tree album has been constantly spinning in my head & cd player, and I'd like to listen to more of her work.

Buttons - I would just like to take this opportunity to tell the world that I like buttons. In the semi-words of my lovely friend Jen: it's my blog, i do what i want. :-D Seriously though, there are some very cool buttons floating around, and I'd like to find a use for them. Even if it's just to make my own 'pieces of flair' board with buttons. But I'd rather knit sweaters. Which reminds me that I need to block the one I finished last week. I should get on that.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


(slightly sweaty Rands)

I am one happy girl right now.

Not only did I spend a fantastic Saturday with Jero... I spent a fantastic Saturday with Jero on BICYCLES. I have lately rediscovered the thrill of road riding, and now I get to share the experience with my husband! (Thanks, of course, to a lot of time on CraigsList and BikeAthens.)

We headed out for Athens between 8-8:30am, grabbed some breakfast & yummy coffee at Jittery Joe's (Clemson), before heading to Jittery Joe's hometown. I tell you what, I think I just rediscovered bagels too. Anyhow, we had a good time talking on the way there and made good time to meet a cool dude named Mike at the BikeAthens homebase.

BikeAthens is a non-profit organization that advocates for the improvement of the Athens/Clarke County area in such a way as to encourage alternative forms of transportation (pedestrian/bus/bike). They also do bike recycling: folks donate their old bikes to BikeAthens, whose members fix and/or tune them up and give them to folks in the area who need a reliable form of transportation. Sometimes they get some fairly nice bikes that need some love and are still worth a pretty good amount - in this case, they tweak 'em & sell 'em to raise money for their mission. And that's how Jeromie found his bike - a Novara Randonee (REI-brand touring bike)! I also scored some sweet, gently-used SPD pedals, which should make my bike-commuting life just a little easier.

le vélo

In anticipation of a potential bike purchase, we'd brought my bike & a picnic lunch, so we pounced on the opportunity to ride around and see the town. We rode out and back on the Oconee River Greenway, then into town to poke around a vintage store I'd spotted on the way in. It's sad... I've never spent much time in Athens - maybe one show at the 40-Watt - but it's a really cool town. The downtown is beautiful & it looks like they have a wide variety of shops & restaurants. I wish we could've spent more time there, but the sky just about dumped on us & we needed to get back anyhow. We completed the trip with a stop at SweeTreats, which I will sorely miss when we move away.

I am so giddy about riding right now. I did a lot of riding when I was younger, but sort of fell away from it during college. Having a car and a too-busy schedule will do that to you. Well, now the car is gone, and partially because the bike's got the better of me (and riding the bike just makes me feel better). I also realize now that it's a good alternative to running... which I always seem to get injured doing. Maybe the bike'll balance me out! :-)

We rode in to church this morning, then home again after lunch and I didn't want to stop. Unfortunately, housework called. (Shedding season in the Rand house doesn't bode well for other activities.)

Well, you guys get the point. I'm excited.

(and a picture of my Jero because I think he's pretty swell.
and manly enough to drink out of a butterfly-laden Sigg.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

i did it.

I did it. I'd been thinking about the possibility for a while, but now I've finally done it.

What is this "it" that I've done??

I opened up shop on Etsy. Etsy is an incredibly awesome online marketplace specifically for people selling their own original, handmade goods. It's one of my favorite places to browse... there's some really cool stuff up there! One of my favorite shops on Etsy is Block Party Press - Jeromie got me a pendant for my birthday, and I promptly order 2 more with some birthday dollars. Oh, there's a lot of fun stuff on there. And now the fun stuff includes something of mine!

I wrote a blurb for the shop bio about how I arrived at this spot, but the basic gist is this:

I've spent most of my life not living,
and God has changed that.
Because of Jesus, He's rescued me and is redeeming me.
After many years of denying any sort of value or gifting, I finally realized that God *has* given me a voice, and something to share with His world.
If I really believe Him, then it's time to stop hiding and start celebrating.

The shop name: lizzleisALIVE

and I am!

Monday, June 16, 2008


I know this is already on Justin's blog (that's how I first saw it!), but I figure I might have a few readers that he doesn't and I want to share the love too. Cause the world is just awesome!

Some things I particularly love today:

* the mountains (blue ridge & otherwise)
* Clemson sunsets
* brilliant lightening storms
* the human body in motion (we can do some pretty cool stuff!)
* spoken and written language
* the fact that all creation attests to God's glory, & that He's redeeming it (!!!)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shifty... in more ways than one.

This week, we unofficially became a one-car family.

Jeromie and I have been discussing this shift for about a year, and finally stopped procrastinating over the past month or so. It took a little preparation to switch off to one car:

* a solid carpooling schedule,
* a workable errand-running routine,
* a knee that decided to stop being busted,
* a working coolant fan motor
* an actual proficiency at driving a manual vehicle, and
* the willingness to give up a little bit of freedom.

The transition had a few hitches, such as said coolant fan motor... but that was actually a long-existing hitch that I'd assumed was normal for my car. Long story. :-)

The other hitch was my grocery trip this week... I raced the CATbus from our house to the Clemson Bi-Lo and thought I'd won until the CATbus pulled up already loaded with two bikes. I suppose it's a safety rule, but the bus driver wouldn't let me bring my bike on board, so I had to call Jero for a ride. To me, that defeated the purpose of using the bike for that errand in the first place, but I'm hoping to make a few adjustments to my bike that would allow for toting things if need be.

I'd kinda like to see if I can ride my bike more miles than I drive a car in the next year. Excluding, of course, the miles between here and Denver. :-) I'd have to do quite a bit of riding to make up for that one.

P.S. It's official! Jeromie's been accepted to Denver Seminary as well! God-willing & the creek don't rise, we'll be living a mile higher in August!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

yarn cakes & happy tires

(the title is for you, Jeromie; appetizing, isn't it?)

So, for the past year, Tuesdays have been my favorite day. Two reasons: house church in the evening, and it's one of my two consistent days off (Sunday being the other). It seems that other days off are always cram-packed full of people to hang out with and/or things that need doing. Not that I don't want to hang out with people - I actually thoroughly enjoy it now - but being a Liz, and still introverted at my core, I need a day to myself sometimes.

Tuesdays tend to be that day.

So, yesterday I:

* slept late to make sure my migraine was really gone
* read a little in A Separate Peace
* changed a flat on my road bike (happy tires!)
* set up the swift & winder I got for my birthday from WEBS, thanks to Darla
* set to work on making yarn cakes out of my huge bag o' yard-sale yarn, and
* made sausage-lentil soup from the More-with-Less cookbook!

Let me tell you, that bag o' yarn is going to take a bit of work to make knittable.

The story behind it is as follows... My friend Melissa and I were responsible for coordinating the DCF Yard Sale at the beginning of May, and it went off quite well. (I just want to say that God had everything to do with that.) It just so happened that the nearby Lutheran church was having a yardsale the same day. Jeromie paid a visit and spotted the yarn - sprawled on the table and strangely tied. Well, he sent me up to look at it and it appeared to be wool and at least hand-dyed, so I spent the $5 I had to get a few bundles. Well, while we were tearing down in the afternoon, a volunteer from the other yardsale walked down and asked one of my friends if I wanted to just have the rest of the (garbage-sized) bag for free. Knowing me, my friend said yes. :-D

A month & a half later, with swift & ball winder in my possession:

I sat down this morning, cracked open the bag & loaded the first bundle onto the swift. The winding went swimmingly at first, then I started getting to tangles & loose ends. It took 45 minutes to an hour to get that first bundle all caked up, complete with much patient untangling. It's definitely wool, and it's almost certainly handspun. There are lots of planty-looking fibers throughout the yarn, almost as if it was born in a barn. (Wait a minute, it probably was born in a barn literally. You know what I mean.) I've now affectionately dubbed it "the quintessential itchy-scratchy," because it is!

But I'm still excited about coming up with some good projects for it. Perhaps some mad felting?


Quintessential Itchy-Scratchy.

Rather furzy, but practically free!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Blue Ridge Farewell Tour

So, it looks like we're off to Denver in approximately two months.

I've spent much of my life wanting to move away, though I've realized lately that there are a lot of things I love about this section of the country. The farewell tour started as a half-joke, but I think I'm gonna do it. If anyone wants to join me or add to the list, go for it! I hope I get to all of them, but I doubt it; the list is kinda long.

Liz's Blue Ridge Farewell Tour
(in no particular order)

Sunset from the roof at Dad & Amy's
Reading in the Centennial Oak
Visit the house I grew up in
Trail Running at Issaqueena
Sunrise at Pretty Place, or at least go there
Pisgah swimming holes!
Favorite Hikes ~ (or at least visits to)
* Black Balsam
* Cedar Rock
* Table Rock
* Horsepasture River waterfalls
* Mountain Bridge to Jones Gap
Bouldering @ Rumbling Bald
At least one short backpacking trip - I'm not picky
Coffee at 'the drip' in Black Mountain (Dripolator!)
Something on Jocassee, preferably kayaking, but picnics are good!
Dinner at the Bohemian
Oconee thrift store/antiquey goodness!
McClures, cause I love 'em
A movie at the 'Stro
Backroads bike rides (#10)
Bamboo teepees & gully clay!!
Fiber Fun @ Main Street as many times as I can make it! (#1)
Upstate Ravelers at Brew & Ewe??
Berry- or veggie-picking at Robertsons Farm
Giving at least one more nerd call from house church
Jones Floats, quiet & good company @ Main Street (#1)
More carpool sing-alongs! (#2)
Anderson Jockey Lot

I will probably update this list several more times to add more items & cross off the ones I do.

(Update on 6/15: The list is growing... perhaps beyond my ability to complete! The things I don't get to before I leave, I shall attempt on any & every trip back!)

Any fellow upstate folks have something to add?


If you had a farewell tour, what would you be sure to include?

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I'm too tired to write out the blog post I was planning for this evening, but I at least wanted to say that much about the trip!! :-)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008



* * * * * * *

Swallowfield - Jennifer Judd-McGee of Portland, Maine. Beautiful collages, a unique style, challenges me to think beyond my little sketches.

More-with-Less Cookbook - Was introduced to this excellent cookbook by my good friend Becki Pesce. Jeromie and I have been wrestling over ways to live more simply, and our food-making & -consuming habits could use some work. After digging around in the cookbook during our stay in Denver, we decided to go ahead and get it.

Neko Case - I'm just at the beginning of being inspired by this singer-songwriter. Heard 'John Saw That Number' on a sampler I got from work, and have been enjoying the bits I've heard since. May be the next album on repeat for me. :-)

Beans - They come in such beautiful colors! And they're relatively inexpensive! I'm looking for a way to incorporate them more into our meals and kitchen-decor.

Monday, June 02, 2008

out and back again

I knew I shouldn't've pressed the buttons of dooooooom.

* * * * * * *

Jeromie and I have just recently returned from a bit of a journey out west. The original plan was to take a trip to Montana with Jeromie's family, but we ended up stopping over in Denver for several days first (for cheaper than a direct flight to Montana would've been!). While in Denver, we made a visit to Denver Seminary, the Denver Art Museum (best DAM museum anywhurs!), and the mountains! We had a fantastic time with our hosts, the Pesces, and are looking forward to the possibility of making our home in Denver, at least for a while.

But I mentioned buttons, didn't I? Of the doom variety? Ah, yes...

Messing with the buttons of doom means:
- rain
- rain
- rain
- more rain


- more rain. :-)
- oh yes, and the condo breaking off the face of the planet and floating through space, Sawyer style.

Apparently, some of the areas around Red Lodge (where we stayed) received half of their average annual rainfall during the week we were there. Mmmmm. Slow, soaking rain. Despite the rain, we had an awesome time in Montana.

During this next week, I think I'll try and make a few posts about our time there. One gigantic post just doesn't sit well with me or do the trip justice!

Flickr Game

To Play

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

Sunday, May 11, 2008

<< exhale >>

Somehow it seems appropriate that I get my life back from bookfairs and busy on my birthday!

I apologize for my rather lengthy absence from sharing things of interest, but the past two months or so have been incredibly busy on all fronts; however, the last (hopefully!) bookfair at work finished yesterday, so now I can rest and be rested.

Thank you to everyone who has loved and supported me this past year, and my whole life for that matter.

Thank you, Jeromie, for patience and hard words of truth.

Thank you, Jesus, for rescuing and redeeming me.

Thank you, God the Father, for loving me relentlessly.

Thank you, precious Holy Spirit, for breathing Life into mine.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

iRead: more than i should, perhaps

All right, so. I've been reading a lot. This is about all I've done in my spare time apart from the film festival, which took up the first 2 weeks of April. Haven't painted, haven't sewn much. I think I need to work on maintaining a bit better balance. :-)

Either way, the following books have passed through my book-hungry little hands so far this month:

- The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
- I Am One of You Forever by Fred Chappell
- So Brave Young and Handsome by Leif Enger
- Brighten the Corner Where You Are by Fred Chappell
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (i re-read it)
- The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

As much as it might look like it, I have *not* been just plowing through these. Well, except for maybe Into the Wild because it was hard to put down & I had no energy that day. I enjoyed all of them, but I'll only rave about a few. :-)

One of my favorite books thus far in my life has been Leif Enger's Peace Like a River. Since picking it up several years ago, I've re-read it several times and enjoyed it even more with each read. It's definitely one of my staff picks at work. Needless to say, I've been giddy with anticipation over the release of his new book, So Brave, Young and Handsome. I placed my order at the beginning of this month and then babbled endlessly about it for several days... which led to a co-worker picking up PLR, which then led to the suggestion of a good author by said co-worker, the fabulous Daneen Schatzle. The author = Fred Chappell.

Fred Chappell is one of those authors that makes me wonder what freaking rock I've been hiding under that I hadn't read anything of his before. Or what rock the rest of my world has been hiding under that I hadn't heard of him. So far, I've read the two books listed above, and I will be hunting down more. (Apparently there's poetry too!)

I Am One of You Forever - I picked up this one first, used, for $1. I have not laughed so much while reading a book since Brothers K (David James Duncan)! The book is narrated by Jess, a young boy, and is a series of stories about his family - initially his immediate family, then a series of odd uncles and humorous occurrences. Chappell's storytelling is beautiful, to say the least, and his characters are full and incredibly funny at times!

Brighten the Corner Where You Are - I think I hunted this one down before even having finished the first! Turns out, both of these books are part of a series about the family & specifically the father (?), Brighten being the second. The writing has a different feel than the first, but is still enthralling and humorous. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books...

So Brave, Young and Handsome - Long awaited, finally here! Awesome! I really don't know what to say about it, since "western" conjures up skepticism for me. The story follows the friendship of two men - one a failing writer, the other an outlaw - through the eyes of the former. Enger's storytelling in this second book was just as captivating to me as in his first. He's no longer the author of one of my favorite books, he's a favorite author!

I know, I know... I've been rambling. It's late. I get that way. No apologies, though. Just wanted to share the bookedy love. I'm always open to suggestions too... my list of books I want to read is already out of control, what's a few more? :-D

Sunday, April 13, 2008

DCF Film Festival 2008 : Little Worlds

So, here is the outcome of a lotsa hours of drawing and taking pictures!

Over the past week or so, Jeromie and I have spent most of our truly spare time working on our submission for the DCF Film Festival. The overall film was Jeromie's idea, and I did the drawing. Last count, the 2 minutes of filmy goodness took ~10 hours of drawing & editing and more than 1600 frames. Twas much fun though!

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I can't believe it's April. Contributing to the disbelief is the fact that no one pranked me on April Fools (phew.), which is a new concept for me. :-D Normally someone pulls at least *one* over on me. April looks like it will be quite a trip though... and May.

Potential Spring Shenanigans
- Cooper River 10k in Charleston (this Saturday!)
- Taxes. Taxes taxes taxes. (by April 15)
- Projects for DCF Film Festival & Gallery (now til then)
- DCF Film Festival & Gallery weekend (April 15?)
- Bookfair numero A (3rd week in April)
- Bookfair numero B (4th week in April)
- DCF Yard Sale & Silent Auction (May 3! Come out!!!)
- Bookfair numero C (in-store May 10 & probably HUGE)
- Sneaky-plan thing that might be unveiled in mid-may...
- Finishing & submitting Mars Hill application; going out for interview (May)
- Registering for classes (?!??!)
- Family trip to Montana (!!!!!)

I feel like I'm coming out of hibernation or something! :-) Hopefully I'll be able to carve out a little more time for sewing & knitting. Both have been neglected these past few weeks. :-\

Even in the face of a busy spring, these past few weeks have been good. Not a crazy woo-hoo(!) good, but good in a God-is-moving-and-i'm-not-being-blind kind of way. As always, He is faithful; He's been digging around in my heart and bringing me to a place where I can see and embrace Him & Life (with all its many facets) instead of retreating or hiding. Most of my life, I've been prone to that... to retreating & hiding.

So in response to Michael's request for a one-word update: WOO-HOO!!!! :-D

And that's because God is faithful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

iRead: a couple of things, actually!

After finishing the utterly fantastic Secret Life of Bees, I headed in a sillier direction. As usual, a few books caught my eye while shelving at work, and I set them aside to read. These books were:

Fun! By Avi!

They are both juvenile books - short, and rather silly. What made them endearing to me was the constant playing on words. If you know me at all, you're aware of my affinity for puns (bad ones will suffice...), so reading these two short books elicited a lot of giggles.

After reading these, I almost promptly picked up The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'd been eying(sp?) the book at work for a few weeks, then my friend Lance lent it to me. The book is a biography of Eustace Conway, who lives self-sufficiently in the woods of Western NC. Gilbert examines his life, work, and philosophy from the stance of an observer-friend, and her writing is intriguing and funny. Overall, very thought-provoking.

At some point during the reading of Last American Man, another book jumped off the shelves at me. Or rather, perhaps, God drew my attention to it. Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson. After my post about Secret Life of Bees and how I read, I could not ignore this one. I'm in the middle of it right now, and will be for a while. This one, I shall thoroughly digest, I believe. And the Bible with it. More on this one as I work through it.

And lastly, I was given a book this weekend when a local author came to do a signing at work (The Open Book - Greenville, SC). I love to see what local authors are writing, so I've been giving this one a shot. I'm not much of a mystery/romance reader, but if this is your interest, then this would be a good book to add to your shelf. It's a quick read with an interesting (though thoroughly fantastical at parts) plotline.

The book is Refraction by Jan Dynes, who lives in Clemson now (after "crash-landing" on the SC coast.

As always, my list is growing faster than I can (or want) to read, so who knows what's next??

Happy reading, all!