Monthly Archives: May 2010

Domestic Much?

The other day, one of my y chromosomed friends remarked, “I feel like every woman at Blue Sky knits, crochets or sews.” Some of my friends were quick to respond that they were not one of those girls. My response to this is, so what if you are? When did being domestic become a bad thing? I will admit, at first I was like some of you… Thinking it was some sort of desperate attempt to get a husband or an outlet to relieve some sort of awkward energy. And of course like everything, I am sure some people out there do it for those very reasons. However, this is not the rule. Today, I set the record straight on all things domestic. I think crocheting and the like are often mistakenly associated with meek and mild-mannered maiden folk. Crocheting, sewing, etc is a skill, plain and simple. It’s just like cooking or remodeling cars. There are the basics, but as you go you increase your ability, you are able to embark on harder projects to refine your talent. I am certain having these skills doesn’t diminish my identity as a strong, confident and educated woman of God. Instead of just watching a movie for three hours, I can crochet, watch a movie and by the time the credits roll, have a hat to show for it. I don’t plan on making a living out of this, but even if I did, what’s it to you? 🙂

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Me… Organic?

I love bacon. No, but really I do. The chewy, sweet savory combination is enough to make me smile and give my “mm hmm-amen” nod my head as I type. My work  serves up some of the best bacon I’ve ever had- thick greasy cuts with usually a bit of a crisp at the ends. I started treating myself to bacon about two or three times a week, but then it became a full-blown addiction with two strips every day. It wasn’t long before I noticed my face break out and my apricot face wash was no match against these pork predators. I decided to stop cold pig, to see if it would make any difference. Within days, my face was back to its normal self and my apricot face wash was able to exfoliate with little pushback.  Well, the temptation started to become too great, so I decided to try just one teeny tiny piece of bacon… the results were almost instant and the mistake was marked all over my face. A few days later, I was at Portage Bay Café and decided to get the Greek Omelet, which had cheese, bacon and spinach. The omelet was packed with peppered bacon and I was excited, yet saddened to know my skin would have to be the one to ultimately suffer the consequences. I ate the omelet with great ease, surprised at the lack of lethargy that followed. The next morning I woke up and noticed my face didn’t break out… what was this? Not even one of those quasi pimples? I went again to the café and ordered another dish with bacon (all for the sake of research of course) and it produced the same results or shall I say lack of. The most probable hypothesis I could come up with was that one was organic and the other was not… you can guess which is which. So this has all gotten me thinking about how real this whole organic business is. Should we be taking it more seriously? How does one even begin? Well, I have poked around and found a great start to this journey. Now I know it will be slow… and I probably won’t ever be all organic, but I can take organic baby spinach steps by shopping at places like Whole Foods and Trader Joes. And let’s be honest, sometimes you can’t even tell a difference and a little preservatives tastes good now and then. So we shall see… If you’d like to join me on this organic path, I welcome all friends. I am hoping to track my progress on here, but we know how that goes… So the next time you see me, feel free to ask me how the organic thing is going, it will give me some accountability and let me know you’re reading my blog which will make me like you even more.

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Summa, summa, summa…

This weekend was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Friday night: “A Night of Worship and Prayer” at Blue Sky, the church I go to. I was feeling pretty exhausted and to be honest, didn’t really want to go. I picked up my friend Pei Sian and complained to her the entire way there saying how exhausted I was and that I didn’t want to go. I make a great travel companion. We got there and I was still pretty grumpy. Once Steve started praying though, I knew it was time for me to shut my mouth and be still. We prayed for the church, the leaders and that God would continue to do His will at Blue Sky. There is something about praying together as the church that makes you feel so small yet a part of something so big. We then worshipped and I think I am finally learning what it means to worship God and it’s just how it sounds, plain and simple. You are worshipping God and giving Him the praise He deserves. It’s not about how you’re feeling, or what you get out of it… and as selfish as this may sound, it’s hard to really do something when it isn’t for you. I left Blue Sky feeling very excited for what God’s going to do and so thankful for Blue Sky and the leaders we have. It’s the real deal at Blue Sky, and it’s so awesome. That night a very large crew of us went to Red Robin and ate some late night burgers. Oh and side note. I LOVE riding in cars with girls. There is something wonderful about having the sunroof open with a warm breeze and some wild car dancing that makes everything okay. Jess, you are my constant car companion and I love it.

Saturday: I have been secretly working on a blanket for Melanie’s birthday and Saturday was go time before the party on Sunday. I spent most of the day crocheting like a mad woman alternating between the blanket and whipping up some pot holders for Brandon and Luke. Saturday evening I went to Jess’s Spring Mixer/ 1,2,3 Duck event. It was such an awesome cause (raising money to buy ducks for poverty-stricken families in third world countries) and if you ever go to a party at the Chan’s, you KNOW there will be good food. On the menu: marinated chicken wings, homemade meatballs, cucumber sushi rolls, 7 layer dip with homemade guacamole, cookies, veggies, apples with this cream cheese caramel dip, pizza rolls, pot stickers, bruschetta with various toppings, banana bread, brownie bites with frosting, potato chips with French onion dip… I mean, it was insanity! Great job hosting Chan family! When most everyone had left, there were a handful of us left and it turned into an awkward dance party. Danny, Brian and Fred’s interpretive dances of driving a car brought tears to my eyes from laughter. It felt so good to laugh so hard… must make more time for that.

Sunday: Church and Ern did a great job of teaching out of the Bible with learning how to trust God… something I could listen to for two weeks straight and still waiver on. Sunday afternoon was Melanie and Jon’s joint birthday party at Golden Gardens. It was expected to rain, but God really came through and it was gorgeous all day. Mel really liked the blanket which was a relief. If she didn’t, I’m not sure how we could still be friends. It felt so good to sit on the beach and listen to the water while the smell of bonfire wafted through the air. It brought me back to every single summer from my past. There is something about familiar smells that bring you to something constant in your life. Does that make sense? When I sat at that fire Sunday night, I had that same feeling when I was 8 sitting at the fire pit at my grandma’s house in my neon pink and green bathing suit drying lake water off my grass-covered feet. As we all sat on the beach watching the sunset I suddenly became very sad knowing that the wonderful weekend was over and Monday was banging down my door. But at the risk of sounding cliché, all good things must come to an end. After the sun went down, I expressed my sadness to the rest of the group and Brian stared at me with his classic “Oh Jess” look and said, “it’s okay, the sun will come back tomorrow.” Despite the fact this wasn’t said with the deepest sincerity, it’s very true. So here’s to a great weekend and I am so excited that this is just the beginning of long sunny days and bonfire filled nights… I may even break out the neon green and pink swimsuit.

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Hello Kitty

Like I said in my earlier post, there are times when I long to be completely alone. To feel that freedom to do whatever I want, when I want and not feel an ounce of obligation or guilt. No alarm clocks, no cell phones, no facebook… just my own devices. Carving out this time has proven difficult given my inability to say no. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t say yes really wishing I could say no. I say yes to things because I want to do everything. However, in times like these I need to retreat and since my desert island (complete with limitless nachos) is currently unattainable at the moment, I have turned to the next best thing… crocheting. I remember the first time I crocheted. I was at my grandma’s house and she made chicken sandwiches with butter, salt and pepper on wheat bread. We had baked pears for dessert and then it was time to get down to business. I used to say my grandma was the smartest woman in the world, and now that I’ve met a lot more people and done a lot more things, I’m still pretty convinced it’s true. I was probably about 11 or 12 then, but to my grandma, I was her student. We sat side by side on her creamy floral couch and she walked me step by step how to make a granny square. If I made a mistake, she wouldn’t let it slide like some grandma’s might do, but instead firmly correct me and make me do it again. I seemed to get the overall gist of things, but it was the precision that I lacked. I would go through a row and my grandma would look over my shoulder and point out places where my tension was loose. I remember at one point, she seemed a bit agitated that I wasn’t getting it, so came from behind and guided my hands through the motions repeating the steps clearly in my ear. She wanted to see me succeed and know how to do something well. Her blankets were things of art. Often my family and I would walk in to find an M’s game on with what looked like a piece of art lying on her lap. She had choreographed the motions so perfectly that the blanket practically wove itself. Periodically, she would look down, but for the most part, her eyes were glued to the screen cheering on Edgar Martinez or boo’ing that darn ump. (While the M’s were at bat, silence wasn’t required, but for your safety it was probably best you didn’t speak.)

Anyways, after my grandma taught me, I didn’t really pick it up after that. I had perfected the granny square, submitted them to the King County fair, won some ribbons and that was about it. When my grandma passed away, I really didn’t care to pick it up again. I started knitting in college and made half a dozen scarves and then decided that a person can only wear so many scarves that they make themself. One day, my best friend Heather had told me she was working on a project. She was crocheting a blanket. I figured it was time to dust off the old H sized hook and get back into the swing of things. Now, if you know me at all, I don’t really believe in “Beginner Level.” To be honest, I find it somewhat insulting. You don’t think I’m smart enough to try something harder? So I was thumbing through Anna’s book of patterns and found a blanket I thought looked somewhat simple, but not so easy that anyone could do it. It said I needed five pounds of yarn which I thought seemed a bit much, but I wasn’t about to deviate. So I bought the five pounds and rolled it into the biggest ball of yarn you’ve ever seen. Seriously… no joke. It was so big in fact, when I brought it to Jess’s house, my dear friend Yuna named the ball of yarn Kitty.

After making Kitty I now understand why they have Beginner Level blankets. It really isn’t to undermine your intelligence… who knew? Since I was a bit rusty on how to read a pattern I just made things up as I went. If I hit a bump in the road I would keep moving. Don’t worry though, my tension was perfect. Well, after multiple bumps in the road, eight months and three more additional pounds of yarn, Kitty became a cat. It looked just like the picture… only tripled in size.

Since Kitty, I have made a few things here and there and am working on a special project. Through all these projects and cherished time with my grandma, crocheting has become my outlet. I crochet when I need to release excess energy. The thing I love about it is if you put in two hours, you can instantly see your fruits. It’s robotic and I like that too. If I’ve had a bad day, I’ll crochet a bit faster that night. If I need to process conversations or things I read, I’ll crochet a bit slower. If I’ve had a great day, I’ll hum to myself or bob my head along to the songs in my head. My mind becomes clear and for a moment, I’m on my desert island.

3 double crochets, chain 1, 3 double crochets, chain two…

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Desert Island My Way

Perhaps it’s my desire to be secluded away from life for a couple of days (let’s face it, any longer and I would go crazy) but I often think of life on a desert island. If I were trapped, what I would bring, what would I eat, where I would sleep and how I would escape. I have decided to divide it up into categories… So here is the breakdown: The first thing you would do: I would cry and probably for a very long time. After the waterworks ended though, I would pick myself up, wash my face and carry on. I normally just cry once in a bad situation and then move on, but that initial cry is unavoidable. Movie: While You Were Sleeping- Let’s be honest, I could act this movie out word for word with accurate tones and gestures, but there is something about this movie that makes me very happy and at peace. The romantic sap in me sees hope for happiness in a dismal yet comedic situation. Food: Nachos! Now, I’m not sure if this is cheating… wait a second, this is MY desert island, so it’s fine. But I would eat nachos with shredded chicken and all the fixings including guacamole and sour cream. That way, if I ever get sick of nachos in general (which seems unlikely, but I suppose anything is possible) then I could divide the ingredients and make a whole new dish! If food wasn’t provided, I will try and avoid killing animals with my bare hands at all costs. Book: Bible for obvious reasons. I need all of the encouragement, help, and faith I can get nowadays… so I can’t imagine what my mental state would be on the island. CD: Melanie burned me this worship mix and it’s pretty phenomenal, so I would bring that. I think any rap would scare me, ballads would depress me and jazz would bore me. Anything else? Yes, I would bring a journal and a pen… one of those bic pens that cost a penny but last you for years. I would write down memories I had of the past both good and bad. Even on the island I don’t think it would be healthy to idolize the past. I would also journal things that are going on present day like a nice ape I met or an excellent coconut nacho recipe I discovered. How I would escape: To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I would try to escape given my poor swimming skills. I think I would be content where I was and be prayerful until someone came to rescue me. Where I would sleep: I’ve already made it up in my mind that I would build a hammock of sorts. I think with my card making and crafting skills I would be able to put one together that Crate and Barrel would marvel. There you have it… if you ever wondered what goes on in my head, that’s just one facet. So enough about me… what about you?

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Meet Jess and Jules

Jessica Chan :

I can’t think of many people who I would rather share the same name with. I don’t remember meeting Jess for the first time, but I just remember thinking, wow, she’s really pretty. One of my first encounters with her was at a DC and she was one of the very first people I got to pray for. While I was praying for her, I could see the Holy Spirit moving in her and I knew we would make just fine friends. Whenever I am with Jess, it feels like I am with an old friend. Things are comfortable and easy. My heart is always at ease the second I walk into her house. Jess also brings out that joyful side in me. That high pitched laughing, ooh’ing and ahh’ing, dancing like a lunatic and all around very feminine side … I’m not afraid to be an absolute girl around her. She also challenges me to try new things… whether it’s jumping at Sky High while holding my hand or being the caretaker of four guppies, I know I’m always in for something new. She isn’t afraid to try new things, which I like. I don’t think Jess knows how strong she is, but she is strong… very strong. Love ya mei mei!

Julie Fujita :

Fujita, Jules, Julie… sister. Julie came into my life kind of like a surprise birthday party. Unexpected, yet awesome. I kept on hearing things about this Julie girl coming back from Colorado and how everyone was so excited. I just thought, wow, this girl sounds really popular. Well, I was on bookstore the day I met her and I just remember seeing this girl thinking, that must be her with the swarm of people around her. I didn’t really even have time to think of introducing myself because before I knew it she was right in front of me with hand stretched out introducing herself. We became instant friends. Julie is one of the most caring people I have ever met. She is very meticulous and thinks through every detail to make sure everyone is taken care of. She is a constant reminder to me of how generous God is with His love. I feel safe around her, which is very hard to come by. She has a real gift for speaking truth with love. I know I never need to worry about being hurt when I’m with her. She is a constant encouragement to me and I think everyone needs a Julie in their life. She’s one of my dearest friends, and if she were ever Taken, you can bet I would be relentless!

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Speaking of food.

I’m sure it isn’t a secret by now, but I love food. I love all kinds and there isn’t much I don’t like. Actually, I can list them out for you now.

–          Raisins. You don’t have to be around me very long for me to know I hate raisins. No exceptions. If forced, I will eat them. Just know, if I ever eat them for you, it means I really like you.

–          I don’t like those little seeds in Italian sausage… anise I believe they are called. To go along with this, I also really don’t like black licorice.

–          Bleu Cheese… sorry mom.

–          The hard yolk in eggs makes me pretty queasy… If I eat a fried egg, I like them over medium… any harder than that, then I will leave the yolk… I have developed a real talent for eating ALL of the white around the yolk.

Welp, that’s it… after that, anything goes. There are certain foods I love… here are my top six.

–          I LOVE fries. I will eat them hot or cold and I will eat them at any time of the day.

–          I LOVE cherries. They are the perfect consistency, perfect chewiness, and perfect sweetness… in my humble opinion.

–          I LOVE Bulgolgi. I could eat that every day and the smell of it makes me nostalgic for a time I really can’t recall.

–          I LOVE nachos… well, I actually love all Mexican, but nachos are my go to snack, meal, pick me up.

–          I LOVE vanilla icecream. It breaks my heart that I can no longer eat it due to my stupid lactose intolerance. But, I am still giving it a shout out.

–          And last, but certainly not least, I LOVE CHEEEEESE! Tillamook Medium Cheddar to be exact. It goes great on anything, you can eat it straight off the block or melt it on oh I don’t know… nachos?

Oh and I love cream cheese too…  As much as I love all of this food, I have noticed the pants have become tighter and the breathing a bit heavier when I go up the stairs. So, with that said, it’s time to start eating healthier and living better. So here is my attempt at some sort of accountability. Bacon, you’re out. Tofu, welcome.

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