Friday, December 10, 2010
Not anymore, folks! Now that I can sort so swiftly, and most importantly by viewing lists of images, I am a Craigslist...dominatrix? That doesn't sound quite right (God help the google search), but in general, I am DOMINATING Craigslist.
Recent finds include a refinished daybed and trundle, a Pottery Barn seagrass chair that never actually got picked up (not the point!), and some disrespect for the owners of a certain antique shop in Crown Hill who obviously don't follow online etiquette.
But what I really want to talk about it how you search on Craigslist. Ebay is so much easier, they think of things for you! But Craigslist takes much more calculation.
I'll show you my keyword search list if you'll show me yours...
pottery barn chair
crate and barrel
mitchell gold bob williams
design within reach/dwr
club chair/leather club chair
Friday, December 3, 2010
Our sweet Henry passed away today. He was a fourth grader. A witty, sassy kid who was claimed as a best friend by at least 12 kids I know. He loved to "window shop" at Toys 'R Us, take trips by limo to the Lego store, and make his mom laugh. My wise friend Marla, the one who "walks like a penguin," in the words of Henry, says there's a cumulative effect when you see kids being snatched away by cancer. Just because it's our job to be in Cancer World doesn't mean we'll ever be immune to the inexplicable unfairness, the grief, the shit of it. It's like a big tower of Legos that stacks up and you can't ever unstack it.
Last week Henry asked our volunteers to help him write a song. He had already named it when they arrived at the hospital, guitars in tow: Henry's Happy Life.
*I wouldn't typically feel comfortable telling a family's story here on my ridiculous little blog, but Henry's mom has always asked for his story to be told. She has pleaded for prayers and support--email chains, you name it--for as long as we've known her, so it seems to me that his story should keep being told. Please be respectful in sharing their story.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
But tonight, my friends, the kids who are staying at the Ronald McDonald House while their families face serious medical situations had an EXPERIENCE. A fun one. The University of Washington Men's Basketball team came to eat dinner! And I was there, cooking up a storm! And then I chatted up a storm, because who wants a bunch of awkward 18-year-old boys to stand around in their 7 foot glory and scare small children with their awkwardness? Not me. So I sat down, the 5'4" blonde girl with an entire table of African American, NBA-dreaming college students, to pick their brains about the rain in Seattle (hard to adjust to, according to the boys from San Diego, Watts, and you know, Senegal!!!), which majors would never work for a basketball player: science and engineering, for sure, and what they thought of the House.
"I've never been here before, but I am definitely coming back y'all!" Too cute.
We had a mini photoshoot (HP should sponsor us with the amount of color ink we have been using lately), let kids decorate cardstock picture frames and got tons of autographs. There were t-shirts and basketballs and some good natured ribbing, but my favorite part was seeing those boys, the ones who land on SportsCenter all the time, the ones who came from all around the world, not necessarily thinking college education was in their stars, realizing the influence and privilege of their position. I'm hoping they liked it enough to warrant a free few tickets for me this season. :)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
*Arrived home from Camp Side-by-Side last night to a happy husband and a NEW HOUSE! Dustin moved in while I was gone, and he painted the kitchen, dining room, and our little library.
*Not only was the house painted, Dustin picked out the most perfect blue known to humans and painted the little studio out back...then he set up my sewing machine and my favorite lamp. I am have my own ART STUDIO!!!
*Making new friends at camp is still one of my most precious memories of being a summer camper growing up, and Camp Side-by-Side did not let me down this week. I had no idea I had room for more best friends.
*Our friends just gave us a gift card to Pottery Barn, which is clearly going to be spent today.
*I got to hear Tony Campolo speak last night on HIV/AIDS and the Christian response in 2010.
*Because my boss is awesome, I get to have a whole more week to think about my overflowing cup.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
1 pre-made graham cracker crust pie shell (or make your own, overachiever)
1 pint whipping cream
2-3 bananas (not too ripe)
1 jar of Williams Sonoma Dulce de Leche (the best $10.00 you'll ever spend)
First dump the cream into a mixing bowl, whip for about 4 minutes. Just fluffy enough to be cloud-like. Not too stiff. Add some sugar to it if you want. Or a little vanilla! Yum!
Next zap the dulce de leche in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Spread a good glob on the bottom of the pie crust, then slice the bananas over the pie. Arrange them if you're into being organized. Plop the cream on top of the bananas as liberally as you're like. I'm a liberal, so I like a lot of whipped cream. And taxes. HA!
Top the pie with some hot cocoa powder, or if you're really feeling fancy, shave some of a Hershey's bar with a vegetable peeler.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I ran across this article in the archives of SPU's Response Magazine. Reminded me of why, despite its flaws, my place of worship and community is on the right track. It's long, but read up. It's local! :)
Church In-Reach: Care for the Congregation
“When a person deals with mental illness, sometimes the Christian community says it’s a spiritual problem — that you don’t have enough faith, and if you just read your Bible more, you’d be cured,” says Claudia Grauf-Grounds, chair of Seattle Pacific University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program.
One Seattle congregation is taking radical steps to change such thinking. Twelve years ago, University Presbyterian Church (UPC) Senior Pastor Earl Palmer invited David Zucker to join the staff. Zucker, neither a clergyman nor a clinician, had long worked for Agape Outreach, a home for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. He was a natural fit for a groundbreaking new position at the church: mental health advocate.
“I’ve learned over the years that the biggest part of healing and recovery is how well you’re welcomed back into the community after you’ve been ill,” says Zucker. “Folks that come the farthest have cheerleaders to root them on. I wanted to explore what the church could do to provide that kind of support.”
Zucker initially envisioned his UPC ministry would center on outreach to people in the city who struggled with mental illness. But something amazing happened. “People — church members — started to come to me in droves,” he says. “Many of them came like Nicodemus in the night, knocking on my window and coming up to me after services.”
Zucker describes families in distress; depression-ravaged, high-functioning adults; and everything in between. “I found that UPC was no different than any other congregation in America; members of the church were suffering and struggling with mental illness, and they were afraid to be identified,” he says. “Yet they desperately needed and wanted support.” That’s when Zucker came to an important conclusion, one that would define his next 12 years at the church: “We needed to be doing in-reach, not out-reach.”
It takes a special sensitivity level to manage such a program. “I’m someone who is a survivor of mental illness,” he says candidly. “That’s where my interest and openness come from. I’ve walked through the dark night of the soul myself. After I became a Christian, I got engaged. When she called it off, I became deeply depressed. Folks very quickly got tired of praying for me. I felt like I was a leper — on the periphery. I’ll never forget the pain and brokenness I felt.” He says he saw the importance of community in recovery from illness and crisis. “I became convinced of the healing value of relational ministry — that’s ultimately what we do here.”
Zucker says his work is rooted in a word: compassion. “In Greek, compassion means to suffer with,” he explains. “When you choose to walk alongside someone who’s suffering, you enter into their grief. I’d love to see seminarians have more training to do this.”
UPC’s model for mental health ministry is radical by church standards; it’s also rooted in concepts of collaborative care — specifically, that healing can be maximized by a network of support. “Our focus is to provide a first-class welcome and spiritual discipleship to folks who are hurting,” says Zucker. “No matter how ill a person is, even if they’re delusional, there is still that deep spiritual yearning.”
Beyond that, Zucker serves as an advocate, someone who goes to bat for people who are suffering. He’s there to provide a listening ear, support, and referrals. “I advocate for people, meet their felt needs, and help network for them.” Sometimes that means helping families access social services, dealing head-on with crisis, or making referrals to psychotherapists. “If someone comes in here needing support for life, I’m here,” he says. “I can’t do everything for them, but I can do something.” And Zucker is especially proud of one thing: “In all of the years I have been here, not one person who has attended our fellowship groups has ever taken their own life.”
Aside from managing five church-sponsored support groups attended by nearly 40 people each week, he is in contact with roughly 200 people in any given Monday-through-Sunday interval — some of whom are psychotherapists working collaboratively with him to meet the needs of parishioners and their families. “Twenty-five years ago, churches didn’t know what to do with divorce; now there are ministries and support groups for people going through that,” says Zucker. “I think this [mental illness ministry] is the last frontier in churches — because it impacts so many people.”
He points to 1 Corinthians, where Paul likens the church to the body: “Paul says all the parts of the body are essential, but he reminds us that we need to give greater care to the weaker parts — that’s ultimately what leads to greater unity in the body.”
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The summer we got married, Dustin and I had obscene amounts of free time. Being a teacher does come with that perk, and I was just unemployed. At that point, it was still fun not having a job.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
Behold! Helpful Tips from around the House, Volume 1/Generic Post Titles Volume 300:
1. Before opening a can of ______, wipe the dust off the top by swirling the can on your back pocket. When I was about twelve, I asked my mom why she always "buttdusts", and she was bewildered. This doesn't happen to my mom. Then she told me my grandma used to do the same thing, and that it is probably genetic. But anyway, try this. No more lint in your black beans.
2. Ironing is for the birds. Or chumps. Or people who actually have an ironing board. Here at our house, we throw a wet washcloth in the dryer with our wrinkly apparel and look spiffed up in no time. Five minutes is all it takes!
3. Stuffed up? Feeling crappy? Stand over the bathroom sink with a beach towel over your head, blast the hot water, and pretend you're having a spa experience. I'm telling you, the Group Health Nurse Hotline saved me with this one on Christmas morning.
4. Buy enough underwear (and clothes) so that laundry needs not be done more than twice a month, if that. It's the lap of luxury. Be sure to make space in your closet for the massive piles that will accumulate.
5. Arrange your furniture so that you can store junk behind the couch, armoire, etc. Our linens are packed politely behind our loveseat. It's classy.
It's hard to believe I made it through five whole housekeeping tips. I am really full of wisdom tonight.
And to make this reading worth your while, I present, The Pinching Preacher. From my hometown of Parker, Colorado. Watched repeatedly, the laughter will burn a day's calories.