Sunday, May 31, 2009

Farm living is the life for me...maybe? :)

So we're finally back in Texas! Feeling the heat full-force! Well, maybe not -- it isn't August yet. But it has been warm and I can easily say that I've been enjoying feeling sweaty, especially this weekend when we traveled outside of the city (Houston) to go blueberry picking! $3/pound = dirt cheap! But it was hot -- sweat dripping down my face and all.

While in Austin last weekend, we met up with my parents, then we all stopped by my favorite antique store, now my mom loves it just as much as I do :). (Oh! Jose also bought a kinda-cowboy hat to help block out the sun for his next summer job, he's wearing it in one of the blueberry photos. He'll be spending part of his summer volunteering as a gardener/office assistant for Urban Harvest, after his first internship ends. He plans on buying boots before we go back to Boston haha! :)

my version of a very stereotypical blueberry photo :).

We had another "agri-tainment" adventure last weekend, when we visited a farm outside of Austin -- we picked up some produce at their farmers market and made friends with a huuuge pig. She was biiig! Jose and I have been talking about possibly purchasing a little farm or 'petting zoo' outside of Austin, when we (hopefully!) move back there after he graduates. I say petting zoo (actually, Jose was the first to call it that) because I don't know if I could slaughter animals that I've made eye contact with. Actually, I don't know that I could slaughter any animals for that matter. Though I wouldn't be doing it anyway, I'd still feel pretty bad eating one of my friends (believe me, I have been very tempted to become a vegetarian precisely because of this reason!).

I would like to live close enough to the city so that it's only a short drive away, but far enough so that it kind of feels like I'm living in the middle of nowhere. I secretly envy Lorelei's Dragonfly Inn (from Gilmore Girls) and would love to run one, but maybe something more manageable, something more along the lines of a Bed and Breakfast (not that I know how manageable that would be at this point :P). Still, I think it'd be fun.

So here are some pictures of both adventures. The blueberry ones were edited big time, as you can see :). I've also included a few pics of houses that Jose and I passed by while in Austin (we like to drive around neighborhoods and look at houses to get ideas for our future home -- hopefully the people that live here don't mind us posting these pics :P). I really like the blue cottage/victorian house in this first photo and the porch in the second dark blue-green house. Jose likes the colors and general look of the more earthy looking one -- I think it's cozy too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Makin' stuff

I've been taking it slow lately. I did make quite a few Mother's Day cards but decided to give them away instead of sell them :). I've yet to update my store, mostly because I'm purposely taking my time with everything these days. I tend to be a pretty high-energy/rushed person and, as a result, sometimes I don't do things as well as I would if I just took my time a bit more. This also applies to cooking/baking and my food blog. I wanted to take a break from Flour Arrangements because I didn't like feeling like I had to hurry up and post something, it really took the joy away from the whole experience, and inspiration doesn't follow a schedule anyway :P.

I feel like I've been rushing through this year, trying to make sure I have time to cook and bake something new, or sew something new, or draw something new, find new music to listen to, etc. Then I realized I was the one rushing myself! Speaking of rushin' ;) (sorry, I had to!), here's a Matryoshka doll card I made for my mom. The littlest nesting doll isn't actually wearing heavy eyeliner, the point on the felt tip pen I was using wasn't fine enough for the drawing :P.

And here's a shabby chic-ish pillow I made a week later (I've been wanting to make this for awhile now with the fabric I ordered from this site, but I put it off...and it felt nice to put it off :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Haiku Festival

White melting to green
serenade to Earth--
Heaven, where we stand.

Though I've enjoyed writing poetry for a good portion of my life, I think I've only written about 3 haikus, so I thought it'd be fun to sign up for the Haiku Festival over at Pink Purl. This is a simple haiku about, you guessed it, spring!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wrapping things up

I've decided that I pretty much love all of the seasons, except for below-freezing Boston winters and Texas summers :P. This isn't to say that Boston and Texas don't have nice weather, they do. Still, if I could pick anywhere to live in the US as the seasons change, this is where I'd live. Boston in the fall and spring, Texas in the winter, and California in the summer. Boston gets humid in the summer (this was a shock to me) but I will never forget how beautiful it was here during the fall...

Across the street from our apartment:

Apple orchard/farm in Concord, MA:

I love Texas in the winter, because it is just cold enough to wear a jacket but not so cold that you have to wear long underwear :P:

Mayfield park, Austin late winter

Boston in the spring:

The beach is the place to visit in California during the summer (so long as it isn't closed due to being overly polluted :P)

We're about to head back to Texas for the summer, it'll be a nice change but I have to admit that I'm starting to like it here again, now that it's warming up and the flowers are blooming. It'll be nice to temporarily have a car, though. The ability to get up and go (and not have to think about where the nearest bus stop/T station is) will be nice. But Jose and I have learned to get along quite well without a car. Zipcar has been a lifesaver; we rent a car 2 times a month, when we go grocery shopping. There have been a few times I've forgotten to buy something on the grocery list, I've walked to the grocery store when that's happened. Looking back, I never thought I'd be able to walk 3 miles in 30 something degree weather just to buy xanthan gum for a baking project! I remember when walking 3-4 blocks down the street from my apartment (in Austin) to the grocery story was a big deal :P.

So with 1 school year down and 2 to go, I can say this: though I do look forward to picking apples again when we come back in the fall, Boston isn't home. It's a nice place to visit and if you can afford to get by comfortably, it might be a fun place for an on-the-go person to live permanently. But I have to admit, I miss Texas and it's somewhat slow pace. If Northern California weren't so expensive, I'd move back in a heartbeat (to the outskirts, not the city), but Jose and I have decided that Austin is probably the best place for us to settle down. It has some of the quirks/entertainment you'd get in a bigger artsy citiy, but it still isn't as crowded or expensive.

Sometimes I have a hard time imagining myself as someone who is "settled down", though. After moving so much throughout my life, I wonder what it'll be like to finally have a place to call home for more than 3 or 4 years?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Historic Dream Homes

Mary Engelbreit house

How did I spend my Friday night? Looking at homes (online) -- historic ones (click photos to enlarge). I found all of these on Very cool site, you can even search based on style in the archives. I'm not very fond of large houses, so I picked these somewhat 'smaller' houses as my favorites. They look cozy, the second yellow one is actually referred to as a doll house :)!

I would love love LOOOVE to live in a historic house. (Mary Engelbreit was one of my favorite artists growing up, these houses resemble those in her drawings.) I would totally be willing to sacrifice the space -- my only concern would be the plumbing/appliance issues, but those can be fixed, sometimes... Not sure if I'd want a brand new house built to look old, though.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lemons and forgiveness :)

When life gives you lemons...take a picture of them and edit the pic with gimp (or make lemon cake ;). When people give you lemons... (OK, so it doesn't have much to do with the post, but I wanted to share this fun pic from Haymarket.)
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Forgive and forget, it's a cliche that some say is biblically based; if God does it then we should too. We're not God, though, and he knows that. Bear with each other & Be kind and compassionate are the two commandments prefacing the call to forgiveness. They put it all into perspective and answer the questions surrounding the issue of forgiveness.

I'm certainly not one to forget when I've been hurt, but with time I've learned to slowly let things go. Only because, with prayer, the anger and bitterness have gradually been replaced with compassion and understanding. Even though the former feelings still creep up every now and then, it's difficult to truly be resentful toward someone when I put myself in their shoes (consider their upbringing, their own battles and struggles, etc.).

We don't have to wait for an apology from anyone to start forgiving them. If turning the other cheek sounds unreasonable, then the way we've been looking at it is all wrong. Turning the other cheek requires us to turn away from the 'raised hand' (or the hurt) and look away from the act/person that's hurting us. At that point we're the most vulnerable and we can also see something other than the pain. It's in our most vulnerable moments that we can humble ourselves and realize that we're not so different from those who've hurt us. We may not engage in the same hurtful acts, but we've all hurt and been hurt. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other... There is a reason why compassion comes before forgiveness.

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