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



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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

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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

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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.)