Saturday, August 27, 2011

A new morning

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Climbing atop my soap-box for a moment (because I feel guilty discarding it when I know it can be used for something)

So, lately I've been really convicted about waste. Waste... and environmental health... and starving people in America, and Africa, and China...
Maybe "convicted" isn't the right word, necessarily, but these are things that have really been on my mind lately --so much so that I utilized a paper grocery bag I discovered in the pantry to begin collecting all the plastic bottles and such around the house for recycling.
On that note, though, I'm thinking we really need to stop buying bottled water in the first place. I feel guilty every time I pop one open -especially when it's just a matter of convenience. I mean, recycling is good, but why not just try to eliminate unnecessary plastic waste altogether? By purchasing these 25 (or whatever) bottle palettes of water we're still contributing to that plastic-bottle-circle from that Brita commercial that stretched around the earth 190 times! (Great marketing, by the way. That one really stuck with me.)

It all boils down to this (for me, anyway) :
I am a consumer.
I don't produce, I consume. I go to the store and buy my apples and oranges and water and oatmeal and chicken and yeah, all of that stuff.
And I rarely consider where it's coming from.
Questions like What kind of pesticides do these farmers use and how is it going to affect the land for future crops? or How are these hormones and antibiotics in this chicken going to affect my body? or Could this cause genetic mutation? or Is my future sweet baby girl going to have a third eye? (okay, I'm exaggerating) never really cross my mind.

And when I buy that super cute shirt, or those really comfy jeans, or those astonishingly sweet flats, rarely do I consider where the cotton came from, or where the fiber was woven, or where the stitching was done and who did all of the labor and how they are treated or what kind of super cute, really comfy, astonishingly sweet clothes they may or may not (most likely not) have.

Heck, most of the time, I don't even consider the corporation running the store where I'm buying all of this morally compromised product! How do they treat their employees? How do they view philanthropy? What do they do to reduce waste? How does their CEO spend his/her billions? What are their trading policies?

And, honestly, these are all really important questions (except for maybe the one about my hypothetical tri-clops baby). And they're questions that I, as a consumer, can answer with my money by making informed, responsible choices. Where I shop, what I buy, what I reuse, what I recycle, what I stop using -all of that can make a difference. I may just be one person, and the difference may be small, but hey! At least Chaco will think I'm a hero.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A mediocre breakfast, cyanotype painting, and Photography Day

Today has been a really fun day, and I'm just... thankful for it. I saw earlier that it's National Photography Recognition day or something like that, so I took pictures here and there.

First of all, I really wanted to eat better today. I can't say that I kept the carbs down as much as I'd like, but I did stick to my calorie goal (Approx. 1300)... baby steps.

So, I started out with breakfast. I really wanted eggs and toast... so I made this strange variation of French Toast:

My calorie estimate:
3 Egg whites = 45 calories
2 slices wheat bread = 100
Pinch of cinnamon sugar = 15
1/2 banana = 53
Total = 213

Don't be fooled by the cuteness of it... It wasn't great. BUT it hit the spot.

Anyway... Here's what I really loved about today:
Painting a recycled canvas! I say "recycled" because that smeary stuff you see on there is a failed Cyanotype. (The chemical wouldn't stick to the sizing.)
So, the fact that this was almost a Cyanotype photograph inspired me, so I decided to make it a blue monochromatic landscape.
After a little progress ^

The photograph was taken on the Appalachian trail between Viking Mountain and Horse Creek. There's this spectacular exposed ridge line section with 360 degree views -Greene Co. to the left and vast wilderness to the right.

So, here's the finished product... my hand painted "cyanotype" reproduction:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Charlie Brown, PMS and Blue Grass... this is me after all.

I've always enjoyed Charlie Brown and his melancholy cartoon nature. From the "wahwahwahwah" voice of his teacher on the telephone, his dog with a mind of its own, and scenes like the one above... he just gets me.

It hasn't really been an awful day, but I am pms-ing which means that incredibly annoying combination of feeling horribly bloated and having the insatiable munchies. Ladies, you know what I mean.
It's like this: gosh, I feel so fat today... *chompchompchomp*... gosh, I feel so guilty for eating all of this chocolate and popcorn... 
It's okay though... I set my alarm for 6:45 and I'm heading to the YMCA at 8am with my Dad. I'm not sure what he's expecting out of this daddy-daughter workout initiative, but I fully plan on sweating the last two days out on an elliptical machine. (I love those things... they make my knees feel young again.)

One thing is for certain, I'm ready to get back to school and work out a daily routine. I'm not sure if I can handle another week of rationing my chores so that I have at least something to occupy my time tomorrow. However, I know in about 6 weeks I'm going to be wishing I had this kind of life, so I should embrace this moment... live in it, stop wishing for what's next like I'm really good at doing. ...but I am excited about this semester.

I'll only be taking 13 hours -that's the least number of hours for my entire college career. And I'm pretty set on getting guitar lessons (I've recently added embracing my passion for blue grass to my list of career options. Which reminds me, I have a joke for you: What's the difference between a turkey and a banjo? ...A banjo can't feed a family of four*. HA! Well, at least I laughed.)

Anyway, thanks for reading this totally pointless post. I think I'll go to sleep now.

*Oh, and joke credit to my wonderful friend Lou Murrey who makes me laugh.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bringin' it back around

"Goodbye, Mountains," was the caption to a photo a friend of mine recently posted. Reading the words made my heart turn in my chest.
I remember my high school years... I thought there was a great big world outside of this town and my purpose in life was to see it. 
I don't know what my purpose in life is, aside from worship in all things, and I still believe that there is a great big world outside of this town... but it's amazing how leaving this place and pursuing my concept of purpose has caused me to realize that there really is "no place like home." 

I love these hills. Being here allows my soul to expand. There are people here that I can pour my heart and soul out to, and by the grace of God they breathe life back into me. It's like remembering who I am, every time I'm here. 

It's so funny. I sat at lunch today with a friend of mine that I haven't really caught up with since high school, and it hit me how much this place means to me and how much I long for it when I'm away. Not just this geographical place but this spiritual place - and I wonder what sends me on my journeys. They always seem to bring me full circle. Right back to where I belong, sometimes with new understandings, sometimes with skewed ones, sometimes with hurt and sometimes with love, but always, I think with growth. Always, I know, in the arms and gaze of Christ. 

I know I must leave this place again. I know that each season and chapter of life comes to a close. And I am scared. 
But I'm also very excited, and I know in my heart that I will be home again soon.
And I know in my heart that the Lord will be with me wherever I go.
So I go into this next year praying... pleading that my heart will stay with His, knowing that He has prayed for me already and that everything comes from God. 

I don't think I've expressed in this post what I intended to express when I began writing, I don't know if I had a plan at all, really... or if I just felt like saying something. I just have this feeling in my heart that I can't explain... an odd mix of awe and peace and wonder and hope. 

Hope. That's what it is. I am filled with hope. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Following Trevor into basements (and other meanderings of late)

I visited Boone this week to investigate Appalachian State and its Music Therapy program. I can't say I'm too keen on 4 more years of school at this point -so that's probably out, but - man, I love Boone.

Wednesday night was music night in Lou's neighborhood. Believe me when I tell you that there isn't music equal to that made by neighbors in a living room, picking for the pure love of it. I sat there wishing I could take every single person in the room with me wherever I go.

Thursday, I sat on a porch downtown, sipped my coffee, and procrastinated my departure. Lou snapped photos of simple things -the grace of hands on a railing. Beauty. Moments that I'm convinced only she can capture.

We followed Trevor through a downtown alley, an inconspicuous door to an ordinary basement, and into a newly built recording studio. As I left the owner said, "it was an honor and a privilege playing that song with you." His sincerity humbled me, and left me speechless. No one has ever said anything like that to me before.
I always leave Boone feeling like I have a place to return to.
I always return home and miss the people who have left.