fringe benefits

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Being brave and getting straight-across bangs, which I’ve always wanted to try.  I never get the same haircut twice. 

Reminiscing about a lesson on the divine name of God (YHWH) from my Campus Minister in college, Kyle, as I sermonate about God revealing that name to Moses.  I’m so grateful for the ways United Campus Ministry at Texas A&M shaped me into who I am, and who I hope to be.

Waking up to doggie kisses and sunshine.

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enchilada-fueled explorations

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Hello, chickadees.  My dear friend Catherine is visiting from Belfast for the week and I’ve had a grand ol’ time traipsing around this lovely state showing her all of my favorite places.  On the way home from the best little Mexican restaurant this side of Texas, we drove past this strange-looking structure on Poplar street in Aberdeen.  I immediately turned the car around to investigate further, and Catherine being the picture-taking-feind that I am, was eager to do the same.  I’m thinking these are ancient portals, or perhaps teleport devices.  We wandered between them and, while we weren’t taken to another time or place, we did discover random little dilapidated houses, charming in their dereliction.  

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IMG_5847 IMG_5846What a delightful time exploring we had.  And what a delightful time I’m having with my wonderful old friend.  We’ve decided that we should meet up every couple of years somewhere in the world.  Perhaps I can use these stone teleports to get there. 

slow and steady

10557409_10204168825843930_1221677954948544431_nThis amazing picture taken by a lovely Belfast gardener I know, Unni.  It was a reminder first thing this morning to not miss the little things.  Hence this blog post!

Celebrating the life of Lauren Bacall by watching How to Marry a Millionaire.  I do not view it as a documentary, by the way.  Its wit and humor, combined with the force that is Lauren make for a wonderfully entertaining film.  

Deep, deep sleep awoken by golden sunlight on my face.

(re)fresh

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Refreshing beverages and even more refreshing conversation with my friend Heather at a rooftop venue in Raleightown.  The people watching was spectacular.  At one point I laughed as we saw yet another hipster-sort and said, “I feel like I’m at the zoo!”

The way my fluffy dog insists upon licking herself all over after a bath in an effort to dry off more quickly.

Waking up to a heavy downpour and rolling over to contentedly drift back off to sleep.  Ah, Saturday. 

morning, cupcake

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A few college students from my church wanting to come by and hang out before they head back to school.  That they did — the laughter made my stitches hurt, but was worth it — and they brought cupcakes!  Of the red velvet variety (my favorite).  I really do adore this little community.  We joked about “country” patterns of speech and at one point Karen said, “Oh, I said something really country yesterday.  Well, you see, I was helping my Daddy on the tractor…”  I quipped, “Oh yes, this is a country story already…” and we all laughed.  There really is a huge amount of love behind all those “y’alls.”

A spark of creative energy where something I’ve been needing to write for a while came all at once in a matter of minutes.  Writing is such a cathartic and centering experience for me.  I’m wondering if I should be thinking about writing a book.  A Hobbit’s Guide to Presbyterianism?  Chef Weeza’s Wonderful Culinary Creations?  The Spirituality of Coffee?

Waking up feeling completely rested, eight minutes before my alarm was to go off.

meaningful mo-ments

Hello, chickadees.  

How is it possible it’s August already?

My annual family reunion at Mo Ranch was delightful, as ever.  Here are a few favorite snapshots… (Apologies that my laptop decided to only upload in teeny tiny format. Think of it like tapas: small bites, more to enjoy!)

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Um, we drink coffee.  Like Olympic quantities.  I come by it genetically, see?

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There was running and walking in floppy hats and Chacos (who were, by the way, quite pleased to be at Mo Ranch ten years on…best sandals ever).

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There was a piñata (thanks to Aunt Karen).  So much fun.

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There were well-posed for pictures (including the latter where my nieces shouted “MO RAAAAANCH!” at the top of their lungs.

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There were particularly holy moments, like when Gigi put her blanket on her head and proudly proclaimed, “I’m MARY!” and a relaxing time in the chapel (with the other Mary).

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There was the dog run, where we did not in fact run dogs, but actually sat in rocking chairs sipping beverages and catching up on life.

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(This included our version of communion: my grandmother’s amazingly buttery pound cake and red vino.)  

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The kiddos had s’more communion of their own…

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As is tradition, my dad and I got up bright and early Sunday morning to watch the sunrise from the Chapel on the Hill.  I’ve been doing just that on my last morning at Mo since I was in junior high coming for midwinter conferences (it was a tad colder in January).

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There were lovely Texas wildflowers and long soaks in the Guadalupe River (including a particularly spectacular starry evening gathering).

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All in all, it was a fabulous Mo, though we really missed my cousin Lee and her husband Luis (who just had a new addition!).

When I got home there was something new in store for me.  Some church members had a little angel named Fifi who they decided might benefit from being an only child.  I met her, and it was love at first sight.  She’s the sweetest 5-year-old maltese and I’m just delighted.  

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Such a charmer.  I’m a lucky gal, indeed.

It was so good to see family, and it’s nice to be home, too.  I had to have a little skin cancer taken care of today (wear sunscreen and hats, kids!) and continue to be amazed by the support and love of this wonderful community (in the form of company, peaches, tomatoes and a freshly-mown lawn).  So, here’s to August, my friends.  I hope it’s a good one.