Clear out

on Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I drove East today and arrived at home in Yakima around 5:30. I went straight for my room, and began to spontaneously tear apart my closet. Within an hour I had filled 2 trash bags full of clothes to go to the church yard sale. Yikes. Perhaps all that stuff had been weighing me down without me even knowing it, and my brain knew exactly how to fix it as soon as I stepped into my house.

I have way too much stuff.

And all those lip glosses I've collected over the years? Gotta go. Gross.

Triad of tumblers

on Monday, March 29, 2010
In its glory days

Trinity of tumblers

I have trouble buying certain things for myself. It's trait I inherited from my mother.
But around Valentines Day this year, I fell in love with a certain tumbler from Starbucks. Something of this nature is perhaps what I'd buy for a gift, but never for myself. I already have a perfectly functioning tumbler; why should I buy one just because it has hearts on it and is super cute? But that day, standing in Starbucks (in Safeway, actually!) I loved it so much I didn't even think twice before buying it for myself. And I even waited in line almost 10 minutes to buy it...and even in those moments, no second thoughts. I don't know what came over me...I had to have it.

Here at IslandWood, everybody knows what everybody drinks out of, because frankly, 9 out of 10 people are carrying coffee or tea with them at all times. We know each other's beverage selections quite well. When I came home with this new present to myself, everybody complimented me on it. It even fit in the side pocket of my backpack perfectly. We coexisted blissfully for about a week before tragedy struck. It turns out that those sustainable cork floors of ours in the grad classroom don't sustain plastic tumblers falling on it. In one fell swoop, it fell out of my backpack and cracked in two. I was devastated. Everybody that witnessed the incident can attest to how distraught I was when it happened.

I moped around with it for awhile, trying to figure out if it could possibly be fixed. It is possible, but it would no longer be water tight. Purchasing the adhesive alone would cost almost the same as what I bought it for. Not only could I not conceivably buy ANOTHER one for myself, but the Starbucks at Safeway is the only one on the island, and I had picked up the very last one off the shelf. There was no more to be found.

I randomly looked it up on the Starbucks website to see if they were selling them....nope. Next resort: Ebay. Yup. I spoke of my plight to Reuben over skype and showed him the broken pieces. I might have shed a tear or two. For some reason, it meant more to me than just the plastic cup itself. For a lot of reasons, that wouldn't make sense on this blog and hardly are clear in my head.

The next week I made several trips over to Seattle. In the back of my mind I was thinking maybe, possibly, with just a glimmer of hope, that I might wander into a Starbucks and one would pop out to me from a shelf. And that is exactly what happened, at a West Seattle Starbucks. I went in, saw it on the shelf, nestled in a basket with a handful of others, and the same feeling took over me and I had to have it....again. I was a little bitter that it was MORE expensive than the first one I had purchased, but at that point money didn't matter. I took it home with me and let it sit on the shelf for a few days. I couldn't seem to start using it. I finally gave up staring at it and started using it again. People asked me how the cup had been resurrected - they had seen it fall, after all.

Then one day, a week or so later, I get a random package in the mail from some lady back East. Ebay. I take the package back to the prep room where we were getting ready for class. I open it and a wave of conflicting feelings rushes over me as my friends laugh at my predicament. Conflicting not because of the gift I received, but because of my attitude and impatience and greediness to get another one for myself so soon. Reuben had ordered it off of Ebay for me. He's the best! When we talked about it later, he said that he never expected me to buy another one for myself. It's not like you, he says.

This is true. It IS slightly out of character for me to buy something like this for myself, but it really is insignificant. It is much more unlike me to buy it a second time. All of these out-of-character actions resulted in me possessing a triad of tumblers -when I didn't really need any one of them.

Now, every cup of tea has a story to tell of what (and who) is truly important in my life.


I take after my dad in trying to read multiple books at the same time. The combination of being my father's daughter and being in graduate school has not fared well for me. There's an endless stack of books that I've started reading but haven't finished. I want to spend time in them all, but 1) have no time to do it and 2) can't decide which I should commit to. Not knowing what to do about this precarious situation, I schizophrenically flip through the pages of all of them...and definitely don't do any of them justice.

Fort Ward

on Monday, March 15, 2010
What a beautiful day!! Today is upwards of 60 degrees and sunny! Lucky for me, I'm on spring break and can do whatever I please!

Patio chair + sun + book (note: NOT required reading) + Time = Perfection

My friend Jen and I went to Fort Ward State Park. I run through here all the time, but have never actually stopped to explore here!

There's some amazing sandstone on the beach...check out those patterns!

It's called Fort Ward because it used to be, guess what, a fort! There are a few cement bunkers left.


on Saturday, March 13, 2010
I love the Marsh loop! It's one of the best trails at IslandWood. I woke up from a long nap this afternoon and decided to go on a little adventure. Here's what I discovered.

The top of the watershed! If a raindrop lands here, where does it go? South to Blakely harbor or north Eagle harbor? Who knows!

Evidence of a pileated woodpecker!

Spring has sprung here at IslandWood! Signs of the season can be found everywhere, such as:

Stinging nettles are getting rather tall!

Luckily we have the bracken fern fiddleheads whose milk soothes stings from the nettles...I will be definitely using them this year!

Salmonberry flowers

Licorice fern grows year round...

Douglas squirrels toss the scales from the cones they eat into piles called middens. Some middens are used for generations!

Check out how deep the grooves of this douglas fir tree are!

I made a few discoveries as well. I've never noticed this little bird home before:

I love stumbling upon art in the forest!

Finally, to the bird blind!

Thank you, Starbucks.

Twas a successful journey. I know every pothole and turn in the trails here at IslandWood, and yet I discover new things every day.

Dear andy...

on Friday, March 12, 2010
...if you're out inspire me.

Andy Goldsworthy is nothing short of amazing. And so is his documentary and art film, Rivers and Tides. Watch some clips from it. [but please do yourself a favor and turn off the awful music]
Or even better, watch the whole thing, or check out one of his books.

rooted and established

on Sunday, March 7, 2010
This lenten season I've chosen to meditate on Ephesians 3:17-19:

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

What does it mean to be rooted and established in love? How do I take root? What do I establish?

Imagine the tiny acorn of a giant oak tree. When God created the acorn, He was imagining what it would eventually turn into. The acorn itself doesn't know what it will become, but it possesses from within everything it needs to become that grand oak tree [plus a good dose of light, air, water, and soil]. We start as tiny little seeds, full of life and potential. God created us for the intention of transforming from the tiny acorns of self and into the "measure of all the fullness of God". We don't know what we are becoming, but all we can do is trust God for a little light, air, water, and soil.

Seeds have times of dormancy and apparent death. They have to wait...and wait.............and wait...for the perfect conditions before they can explode all that stored up energy into a tiny seedling. If timing is bad, it simply cannot grow. Only by dying to self and waiting expectantly can we grow into what God created us to be. Waiting impatiently or creating my own timeline is foolishness - I have no awareness of the surrounding conditions that threaten me if I plant myself too soon. Only God knows that.

With proper timing and perfect conditions that only God can provide, our newly-flourishing lives will be rooted and established in love. That's the kind of tree I want to be.

My reflections on the above inspired me to go on a little walk this morning. I discovered some rooting and establishing of love along the way.


on Saturday, March 6, 2010

I love my journals. If my house was burning down, they are the first thing I would grab. I've gone through enough of them over the years (I started in 8th grade!) to recognize that the ending of one journal and the transition to the next nearly always marks a significant milestone in my life. My journals and my life seem to transition together, and the closing of one book often represents the closing of a chapter of my life. Beginning the first page of a new journal is a strange and unnatural experience for me. The feel of it in my hands, the sound that the pages make when I turn them, and way my pen meets the paper and the (sometimes) lines seem foreign to me - just like the unfamiliar path that I am walking into in my life at the time. But it's always full of promise and hope. What story will these blank pages soon tell? How will I change? Only time will tell.

I just filled the last page of my journal. It took me 11 months to finish - it began on an adventurous journey somewhere between Laos and Thailand. It ended on a hopeful, yet challenging, note. I have a feeling that this ending is just the beginning of something new.


There's nothing better than synthesizing! I love it when the fractured bits of my world come together in new and meaningful ways. I love it when those words I just read in a book I'm reading remind me of something that I wrote in my journal last week, which reminded me of a Bible verse I just read, which made me think of a drawing I created, leading to something I learned in class last week and what I mentioned in a homework assignment I wrote this morning. There's some serious synapse formation going on in my brain! I'm tired just thinking about it.


on Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Every Spring I begin a love affair with Peeps. Oh, the delicious marshmallow-y goodness, dusted with 100% pure and refined sugar and artificially colored sparkle! I don't understand why people could dislike such a marvelous creation.

Peeps aren't something I normally purchase for myself - tradition dictates that they must be part of my annual Easter basket. My brother gets them too, but he doesn't like them. I exchange a few of my Cadbury eggs for his Peeps, although I have to admit that I also have a weakness for Cadbury eggs. May I just expand that to say most easter candy, actually. And every food associated with Easter: hard-boiled eggs, breakfast casserole, ham, my mom's artichoke dip. Yum.

Easter is still a month away and my Peeps obsession has already commenced. My mom made the mistake of sending me some Peeps for Valentines Day - hearts and "I ♥ U". Valentines Day came and went, and as my cabinmate who hates Valentines Day says, "without it, my favorite holiday wouldn't exist - February 15th - half price candy day!" The Valentines Day candy shelves were quickly replaced by the Easter variety, and the heart-shaped Peeps went on sale, because nobody wanted heart shapes anymore - people had their eyes on those chicks and bunnies. I don't mind living in the past, however, and I couldn't help but buy more. I got a package of them the other day for 9 cents. My favorite way to eat them is soaked in hot chocolate.

Upon further research, I discovered a delightfully whimsical Peeps website:

In another piece of thrilling news, the Peeps company recently opened up a retail store in Maryland! I MUST visit!

And guess what I want to be for Halloween this year?