Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bring on the cold!

I need a reason to wear my new hat!

Actually, I'm sad that summer is over, and would rather winter not rush upon us. But still. My lovely pointy and stripey earflap hat is begging to be worn!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Aventures dans la Cuisson

Last night I decided to make some French bread to go with our spaggetti.
Seeing as how I've not made French bread before, I was a little nervous.
It was for naught - the bread was perfect. So beautiful was it that I told Daddy not to cut into the second loaf so that I could preserve and frame it.
Of course, that didn't happen.

So, I'm making more today. ;-)

Also on yesterday's agenda was banana bread.
Also a success.

I should bake more often.

P.S. I love how Picnik makes all my pictures look quaint. :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

To My Little Green Bird

Dear Vincent,

Tonight I'll be sad when I go to bed because you won't be there for me to say goodnight to.
I'm gonna make banana bread this week, and I'll be sad because you won't be here to eat some. I already got your cage cleaned and put away so I won't have to be sad every time I see it. Somebody had a hair dryer blowing earlier, and it was a little strange because you weren't here to make that obnoxious fire-alarm sound at it. That's one thing I won't miss about you, buddy.

Aside from that, you'll be missed. A lot. Even though I called you a jerk, and devil-spawn-bird. And nicknamed you Evil. I'll miss taking you for car rides. Why did you always feel the need to take a shower in your tiny little water cup whenever we got in the car? Oh, and I'm sorry I scared you the other day when I attempted to take you for a bike ride. lol And even though it was annoying like crazy, you wouldn't have been you if you had been sweet and non-grumpy all the time, so I guess I'll miss your crazy grumpiness too.

I'll think of you every time I hear Josh Groban's "Vincent." I'm glad you liked that song. Thanks for chirping and singing with me whenever I sang it to you. Sorry I didn't sing to you more often. I know singing with me was one of your favorite things. Like just the other night, when I was singing nonsense before bed -I noticed you chirping with me from under your blanket. That was so cute. :)

I'm sorry I let you get hurt. You were supposed to be with me for a long time. At least a couple more years. Ha! I had even imagined how you would be mean to my future boyfriend/husband. It was going to be hilarious. You would be jealous and attack him, and he wouldn't like you, but I would say tough noogies, and tell him to get over it. Yesh, I'm silly sometimes.

Some people probably think it's silly to be so sad about a bird dying. (It's probably silly to write a letter to you as a blog post.) When I left your cage outside a few months ago and you flew away, I was miserable. Somebody said "what's the big deal? It's just a bird." Sure. I guess you were just a bird. But you were a very loved bird. That's the difference. And when something you love is gone, it hurts. And if you loved a lot, it hurts a lot. I loved you a lot.

By the way, thanks for getting up the courage to fly back down out of that tree. And thanks for being so darn sweet to me the last few days. It was a nice change from your random attacks.

(Feb. '06)

I don't have many pictures of you, and I don't have tons of blog posts about you, but to have been such a tiny little bird you were a pretty major part of my life the last couple years.

I have a bird!
He has a name!
Another post about him
We liked the same music
"A Day in the Life of Vincent"

(Jan. '08)

Love you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Impromtu Confessional

Drowned in good intentions
Changing is a fight
Ghosts of resolutions
haunt me, mocking in the night

I stop to reevaluate
Who I am and what I’ve done
And realize I’ve begun to hate
The other person I’ve become

I can’t seem to escape from me
Become the one I want to be
It looks like what they say is true
Your own worst enemy is you

The self I want to be drags me deeper
Cause I know I can’t reach that high

Cost of complacency’s getting steeper
Why’s it so hard to do what’s right?

This metamorphosis
Is taking too long
My pride and apathy
Have proved my better self wrong

Perfection’s always out of reach
Eluding my best efforts still
I’ll settle for a better me
But can I conquer my own will?

My feeble inability
Held the answer all along
This battle’s ending on my knees
Bringing me back where I belong

That's a song I wrote this summer. The italics are my favorite part. :)
One day I was feeling very let-down and disappointed in myself, and some thoughts just started swirling around. Decided I'd better write them down before they flew away. So, I did. And I worked on them for about two hours, had the song mostly formed, and then it just stopped. The creativity ran out, and I only had about four phrases I knew needed help. So, I left it alone and forgot about it.

Just the other day I remembered it, pulled up the file, and tweaked those few phrases.
Now I'm happy with it.

It's the song of my summer. As I said, it's been fun. However, if I'm being completely honest, spiritually it's been a drag. Which is MY fault, I know. Mostly I just used God as a crutch for the hard times, and threw a few "thank you, Jesus!"es up to the sky when something made me happy. And while I've been praying for a few people regularly, I haven't kept up the open line of communication prayer is supposed to be.

And here's the terrible part: I know this. It's not like I've blindly slipped into lukewarm Christianity. It starts out as complacency. "I'm doing pretty good at this Christian thing." Always a mistake. As many times as it's been said, when you stop moving forward, you start sliding backward. But I'm not posting a sermon here. lol If I am, it's for me.

The other terrible part is that the song is true, up til the last verse. I haven't got down on my knees and made things right yet. My human nature is being the ugliest it's been in a while. I was singing mindlessly along with the radio the other day. "Empty me of the selfishness inside, every vain ambition and the poison of my pride, and any foolish thing my heart holds to. Lord, empty me of me so I can be filled with You." And all of a sudden I realized I was singing a lie. I don't want to be unselfish. I don't want to surrender. And I don't really even know why, because I do know that when I'm fully surrendered to God, it's the most awesome thing in the world. To just have that openness between yourself and the Creator of the Universe is indescribably beautiful. So why am I rejecting it?!

Hm. I didn't really mean to write a confessional. Then again, maybe I did. Guess I felt like I needed to be completely honest with myself and everybody.
But now you know.
And so do I.
And so does God.

It's time for a change.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Of Owls and Spectres

My bird just flew past and distracted me. Vincent's gotten pretty good at flying through the house. Sometimes he lands on the edge of the fishbowl, which I find comical.

Yeah, that's not how the beginning of this post was supposed to go. Then again, I didn't have a beginning planned or anything, so it's okay.

Thursday night was movie night at the Looney's house. Yeah! After the first movie, we sat around in the kitchen for a few minutes, just taking a break before we put on the second one. Or so I thought. All of a sudden, we're all singing "Happy Birthday." I like singing the birthday song, so I'm just singing along, wondering whose birthday it is now (there have been lots of August birthdays), when Alicia starts walking toward me with a glowing little birthday cake. I was like "Oh RIGHT! It's MY birthday! sort of..."

They gave me a little surprise party!!
It was sooo awesome. Katie stuck a tiara on my head, and I blew out my candles and just sat there and grinned like a little kid while presents started appearing out of nowhere. Among which gifts were these lovely owl bookends from Sheesh
That's not a very good picture of them.
I'll just have to take pictures of all my presents and make a whole post about them. ;-)

In other news (I love that lead-in, but I try not to overuse it, really I do), one of the resident kitties had a litter of kittens. A white/calico kitty, a grey kitty, and a white and grey kitty. I saw the white and grey one and declared that I was keeping him.

His name shall be Specter.
Or Spectre.
I haven't decided yet. What do you think?

See how cuuuute he is!!?

So, if you want a kitten, let me know. His very cute sisters will eventually need to be relocated.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make hot dogs for supper.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Driver's Ivy Scally Flat?

Hello! This is a crochet story.
If that doesn't interest you, you may leave now.
(but it does have cool pictures. ;-) I promise.)

So, apparently there are a lot of names for this particular style of hat. I've heard driver's cap, golf cap, ivy cap, scally cap, flat cap... If there are any technical differences between the hat structures, I stand unawares.

At any rate, I've always wanted to make one. I browsed for a pattern a couple times, but didn't really find anything, so I moved on. Then I watched this music video the other day. (Need To Breathe - Washed by the Water) I just kept going "duuude! Their hats are awesome!" through the whole video. Then I decided that I Really Must Make One.

So you know what I did? I did what any sane person would do.
I whipped out Laura's trusty laptop (oh, wait. I already had it cuz I was watching the music video. nevermind.), and started looking for crochet patterns. All of the ones that claimed to be what I wanted were floppy, beret-like things with brims poking off one edge. Of course, that's fine and good if it's what you're going for, but that's not what I was going for. For hours upon end, I searched for a pattern. For hours upon end, I was met with nothing.

Being the brilliant person that I am, I exclaimed, "if I could just find a template of the shapes I'd need - like from a sewing pattern or something - then I could figure out how to crochet them and put them together!" So, I began a search for a template. Or any sort of sewing pattern for a flat cap. Yeah, um... all I got was the medieval muffin sort of flat cap. And one person on Etsy had a pattern. Good for her. But I really didn't want to pay that much for a sewing pattern when what I wanted was a crochet pattern anyways. (It just occurred to me that I'm really dragging this story out.)

When I went shopping and found ZERO cap patterns at the store, I gave up. Looking for patterns, that is. I went home determined to create one without a pattern. Hey, that's how I make almost everything else, right?

Sooo, I pulled out a nice little conductor-y type hat of my own to help me estimate the size my cap would need to be. Then I drew a nice little shape for how the top of my cap should look. Then I found a nice little skein of wine colored wool and got to work. The sides and the brim were a lot harder to figure out than the top. The brim was just a big ol' pain, actually.

Two Star Trek episodes, one Janette Oke movie, and at least 6+ hours of non-television aided work later, I have my SUPER AMAZING CAP!!

I say, folks, I am so insanely proud of this thing.
And that stupid brim gave me fits.
It's a little big on me, and the pattern definitely needs tweaking (that is, if I can reinterpret the chicken-scratch I furiously scribbled as I worked), but I'm very happy with it. It looks just like it was supposed to!!

P.S. Isn't my brother Nick a fantastic model?

P.P.S. I know you were all just dying to find out what the new thing in my Etsy shop was. (that was said with just a smidgen of sarcasm, in case you mis-read it silently to yourself.)

Beautiful red fingerless gloves. Now you know.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recap of Summer

I'm mourning the end of summer.
It was a lot shorter than it should have been.
Then again, maybe it wasn't so very short. Maybe I just didn't do all the things I had planned to do.
Yep. That's what it is.
I didn't organize any photos.
Middlemarch, which supposed to be the first book of the summer, is still lying unread on my shelf.
No new crocheted creations have been listed.
More time was still spent indoors than out.
We didn't go chill at the lake as much as I thought we would.
There haven't been as many movie-nights as I had imagined.

Cuz you know what? Life still gets crazy and inconvenient. Even in the summer! And sometimes your plans just don't work out.
But guess what?
I'm okay with that. Because even though I have a whole list of things I didn't do, it was still a good summer.

Six Flags is great. I lost count of how many times I've been. Eight or Nine, at this point, I think. And the fun's not over yet, either. Now that everybody's going back to school I can take all the little peoples and we can have a blast riding things over and over while the lines are short.
And I'm going for Fright Fest this October, which will be a new experience for me.

I got to spend some quality time with some of my girls from church this summer, too! Alyssa and Erin spent the day at the lake with us, and then we watched A Streetcar Named Desire. haha... I don't know what we were expecting from it, but we came away with a couple jokes and a lot of laughs. I have a fantastic picture of Laura dropping popcorn off the side of the boat for Alyssa, so she could catch it in her mouth while swimming. lol I guess if they force me, I'll take the picture down.

Erin and I went to see a movie after Six Flags with a bunch of friends. We hated it and walked out together. I'd say that was a bonding experience. ;-)

Allison had me over for a weekend. That was unique. LOL And lots of fun, of course. I learned about Charlie the Unicorn and they learned about Daniel Gardner. YouTube Marathon... mhm. Oh, and we watched a creepy alien-abduction movie that made my shoulders ache from being tense!

I spent the night with Anna Leigh before we went to six flags last week. I just sat there, being lethargic while she made caramel bars and we talked about deep stuff. And the next morning I practically begged her to drive through Starbucks and then had to explain how Gordon was flirting with her... Oh, and then laughing til we couldn't breathe at the creepy gas station that night...

See? Six Flags picture! I had posted a boringly normal version of this picture because Picnik was flipping out on me. But yay for editing, because Picnik decided to behave and now I have a cool looking version!
I stole it from Anna Leigh. It turned out blurry, but the Batman is awesome back there.
(L-R Keith, Anna Leigh, Jonathan, me)

And this stuff is probably boring to you people that don't know my friends. Sorry! Just thought I would prove that, for all my whining, I've had a fantastic summer. And of course, there's been lots of other fun stuff which I won't bore you with right now. Even with the big family-crises thing that happened, it's been a good summer. And now I'm 20.

Preschool starts back beginning of September. I'm excited. Have I said that yet?
I still haven't sent the parents from last year the pictures of their children I told them I'd send. Bad me. It's what happens when you don't get a paycheck during the summer.

And there's finally something new for my Etsy shop, which I'm going to finish up and photograph today. I'll show you what it is once I get it listed. ;-)

So, this may not have been very cohesive, but... yeah. I hope you enjoyed your little glimpse of my summer.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In Which Caitlin Turns Twenty

Today I am Twenty.
What does that mean?

I am no longer a teenager.
In a year, I will be twenty-one.
If I live to be eighty, a whole quarter of my life is over.
While I may be young, I can't just shrug and say "ah well, I'm still a child!", for I am not.
Being a grown-up comes along gradually, but being Twenty makes it more real.
Twenty does not "feel" different.

It has been an odd two days. In preparation for the coming school year, my fellow teachers and I attended a conference. Of course, you know that the other ladies I work with are all "grown ups" compared to myself. The conference was full of such grown ups. I'm certain I was at least six years younger than anyone else there. Twenty or thirty years younger than everyone, for the most part. So, while I was mourning becoming old, I was painfully aware of just how very young I am. Quite interesting.

The teacher I worked with last year told me today to stop calling her "Miss" so and so.

And now, I present you with a list of thing I have not yet done in my twenty years of life, and would like to accomplish sooner or later. Preferably sooner.

Twenty Things I'd Like To Do**

  • Grow my hair out long again*
  • Travel someplace exciting
  • Become more like Christ*
  • Lead some people to Christ
  • Go to school for photography/cosmetology/writing
  • Make my business more successful
  • Learn another language
  • Read the Bible through
  • Write something publishable
  • Develop patience for larger crochet projects
  • Take guitar lessons
  • Go skydiving
  • Learn to dance
  • Ride a horse
  • Keep a quote journal
  • Become somebody's special somebody***
  • Read more great books*
  • Write regularly
  • Learn to play the piano again
  • Be a fantastic Oldest Sister*
* currently a work in progress
** money, time, and God permitting/no particular timeline in mind
*** no particular somebody in mind at this point, in case you were wondering

Thank you to all the fantastic people who wished me a happy birthday.
I couldn't ask for better friends!