Sunday, May 31, 2009
Glory to you, my Lord, for brother wind
And for air and cloud and serene sky...
Glory to you, my Lord, for our sister mother earth
Who sustains and governs us
And produces different fruits
And brightly colored flowers and grass.
Nothing, to me, gives glory to God like this flowered and fruited Earth. This afternoon, we had an ideal day, hiking deep into Red Rock Park. So deep, in fact that we, unknowingly, left it and entered "Section 16," which very much sounds like we should have stumbled upon some government mysteries.
What we did stumble onto was glory, God's glory in the creation. Each step seemed to stir scented memories of other trails we've walked. This is why I love the mountains. No matter what windy paths I'm on or have been on, they're there, testifying. That God is, was, and ever shall be.
We stepped deep into the pine forest, and that soil-scent of needles and bark brought back the Indian whoops of childhood as we stacked teepee logs on Swan Mountain and afterwards ate hot dogs and Cheetos on Lake Dillon.
We wound back on a ferny path to a waterfall that was just a drip, but that was dripping with rembrances of Hanging Lake and sunny, salt-faced days.
We dropped into a valley of wild, white lilacs. The scent of lilacs is joy itself. It wafts back college days, walking in the Arbor, circling and circling the lilac trees as I would pray my silly girl prayers.
We came upon Indian paintbrush and yellow snapdragons and mountain bluebells below Pikes Peak, like the meadow flowers on Rabbit Ears pass in the summer days we stole before Amsterdam came.
We hurried against the rumble of afternoon thunder, the sound of June, the sound of afternoon in Estes, the sound of far-off intrigue.
All this is joy; all this is glory. I stumble along the paths of God, and I stumble onto glory.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Ann Taylor Loft [lawft]: The county seat of flat-chested East Coast WASP style.
Depressing [dih-pres-ing]: Going to Ann Taylor Loft and not filling the cups of a size 4 dress. Let's review: The Loft. Size 4. Depressing.
Best Cube Ever [ɛvər]: Seeing from your desk what Biden and Bush fly from D.C. to see.
Unwise [uhn-wahyz]: Watching the Thunderbirds airshow outside at noon for an hour and a half with no sunscreen.
Promising [prom-uh-sing]: Having your smart whippersnapper of an intern start.
Cute [kyoot]: My husband.
Addicted [uh-dik-tid]: My husband, to Craigslist. Latest acquisition: kitchen cabinet hardware and a floor laying starter kit.
Beautiful [byoo-tuh-fuhl]: Wildflowers in Ute Valley Park after four unprecedented days of rain.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Now my husband, who has zero experience in anything handy, has in one month transformed it all by himself to look like this:
And, finally, here is the tile he laid in the front entrance. We tore out the carpet in the front, as you can see here, because the all-consuming stank became too much.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
But to get published and stay published, publishers want you to be self-promoting. It's one of the things you hear over and over. Like in this interview with my friend who's an aquisitions editor at NavPress, and like my marketer at Group has brought up several times.
But though God has given me a love of writing, he has given me a loathing, a deep slimy loathing, of promoting. I hate it. I really do. I am the exact opposite of a marketer. And have you met many writers? We're not all exactly social whizzes, flitting about our finesse at the parties. Heck, I'm not even the one in the corner at the party. I'm the one at home in my old college T-shirt blissfully eating cereal from the box and watching What Not to Wear reruns.
And I like it that way.
So I find myself in a quandary. Do I shout my name from the rooftops. Do I start a web site devoted to me, Me, ME! Do I seek out as many public speaking opportunities as possible? Do I make this site: Clever Phrase Here: Amber Van Schooneveld Is So Hot Right Now! Do I Twitter my status to tens of adoring fans who want to know that I just clipped my toenails?
I would rather eat the mortar Mike is scrubbing on the floor right now. Yet I feel the pressure. They unholy pressure I create for myself: That tightening of the chest. What if I don't get out there and get mine? But also the justified pressure: Publishers can't abide hermit authors in a time when you hear of another publishing layoff every month.
It's not about getting mine. If the world passes me by, I'll be all the happier. But the two realities remain: I feel compelled to write, but I hate to promote.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Mike is now officially a manual laborer. No longer are his hands lily white. They are coarse and cracked and blackened from all the house work. He's almost done with the tiling projects. Which is a really good thing. Because we're tiling the laundry room, we haven't been able to do laundry for several weeks. We're getting down to the weird underwear. The ones that you find in the back of the drawer and ask, "Why do I even own this?"
Mike has also been hard at work meeting questionable characters in dark alleyways. Our latest Craigslist finds:
A lamp for the living room for $30 (instead of at least twice that much):
A banquette for $75 (retail, $1,500):
Not quite sure what we'll do with this yet and it's pretty impractical, but I'm very excited about it. It smells a little musty, but welcome to my life.
One other thing I'm finding with buying a new home is that suddenly people want to visit you...and bring you gifts! Our backyard has been nicely flushed out by kind friends and family:Here are our many gifts from well wishers: A lavender pot, a birdbath, some columbine, a hummingbird feeder, and a patio set!
And this weekend, we have the honor of having two Swans visiting us.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Last night, I got to hang with two of my favorites, Jenny Jen Jengineer and Shanny-Bananny-Bing-Bong. (I know, my friends have weird names, huh?) It was fun to see, so many years after college, where each of us has landed based on what different people we are. Jen designs computer chips for Intel, Shannan is a Hollywood wardrobe stylist (she touches naked people all day), and I'm a writer and editor. So I guess we all are different for a reason, and sometimes that works out.
Loved seeing you girls last night!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
By the by, in the above linked post, I mention that the esteemed and much sought after Mr. Gary McMahan looks like he just stepped out of a painting. Well, now he has stepped into one in Denver. So next time you're driving down Wazee near Union Station, look on up at Mr. McMahan.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Then I ripped out the wood in front of the front door, where we're laying slate, with a cold chisel and a hammer. Yeah, I'm pretty cool. All I need is a tool belt and a boob job, and I'll be just like the lady carpenters on Extreme Home Makeover.
The only problem is that with each plank I ripped up, a fresh waft of something funktified drifted up to my nose. I told Mike, but he thought I was crazy. I told a neighbor who had dropped by, but he also couldn't smell it. Then I worried it was just the neighbor's feet I was smelling.
But after about 30 minutes, our home was definitely permeated with the aroma from the underlaying floor. At first I thought, "swamp." Then dog pee. Then dog booty. Then the feet of this guy I went to college with. Then vomit. (Since the flooding of our front room, in which our home smelled like a dead wet dog, we've gotten quite adept at pinpointing smells.) Once Mike finally was convinced it did smell, he took a big whiff and identified it as, "salsa in which the main ingredient is poop." Awesome.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I'm writing a review for Star Trek right now, but really this video says it all.
Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'
Friday, May 8, 2009
I'm afraid I'm being judged all the time because I'm a working woman. That's really all it is, fear, and not even necessarily a merited fear, but it's what my secret heart frets about.
If we're just talking intellectually, I'm fine. I know that my actions are clean before God and my husband. I'm doing what I'm doing because it is what is best and necessary. But in many of our circles, it's simply not the norm. Men work, women stay home and have chillins. Intellectually, like I said, I embrace my situation. I know that I'm not a bad woman for my career.
But nonetheless, my silly, silly emotions and fears eat at me. I worry that I will never be considered valuable until I have children. I worry that nothing I do will be taken seriously until I have children. I worry that I am considered some ball-busting workaholic, selfishly pursuing her own gains instead of her family's.
People say little comments here and there, not knowing my neuroses, and I take their little dropped gems and hide them away to fester at them later. It is all mainly in my mind.
For once, I just wanted it outside my mind and outside myself.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
While scratching my hamstring last night on the way up, I noticed that it felt somehow different, odd. Then I remember that's what muscles feel like. I'm developing nicely rounded dihpthongs from the mountain. (Linguist joke, name that quote.)
So Mike and I, feeling suddenly like young healthy goats, kept going up and up and up and up. Until human prints ceased. And mountain lion tracks began. (I was carrying my killing rock, and making lots of noise, and had my sweatshirt ready to put over my head and make me look big, mom.)
And finally, after much huffing and puffing and mental curisng, perhaps, we made it to the top. Yes, the top! And saw over the other side. The other side of the mountain was all that we could see. But it was so worth it. We felt so good and goaty, we ran most all the way down. Goodbye knee cartilege!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
- Turns out Darcy's actually a horrible, evil brute who wishes he never married Elizabeth.
- Bingley is an oppressive slaveholder in Jamaica, with another mistress and family there.
- Though Darcy dislikes his own son for being effeminate, he is having a bro-mance with his murdering hitman.
- Mary Bennet (the ugly, annoying, pious one) is now the most beautiful woman any man has ever laid eyes on, and many swoon at her feet.
- She has been kidnapped by a blind cult leader who thinks he's the son of God and lives in a cave...
Sunday, May 3, 2009
What I've been thinking about is how God provides for us, just not how we necessarily anticipated. Granted, I'm part of the middle class so it may not seem all that impressive at first, but I've never gone without something I really needed. I'm fed and sheltered and loved.
But the way God has provided those things isn't quite what I imagined. I imagined myself at home being domestic Barbie, which I'm surely not. But does that mean God has forgotten me? No, it just means my plans weren't his. But that doesn't mean they're not good. Good sometimes in an obscure, far-off way when you're in the moment, but still good.
The pastor exhorted us today to take hold of whatever station of life we happen to be in right now. Don't fret about what station you think you ought to be in or the one that is coming next. Drink fully from what you have now. How many of us are sad and depressed and discontent because we can't accept where we are? God provides us what we need, just not necessarily how we think we need it.
On to home stuff. Segway: God provided us with a home. Are you getting bored of home stuff yet? We're redoing the guest bathroom. Mike has torn up everything out of the bathroom, and is going to paint, put in tile, put in a new sink and toilet, etc. etc.
We bought a curtain yesterday to separate the guest room from the laundry room (which are attached) and our tile. (The curtain was from Walmart's Better Homes and Gardens line, which I'm starting to love--$12!) Now we're trying to figure out what color to paint it. Will you look at these two options and advise? I like one and Mike likes the other. My flash washed out the white paint, but it's more of a nice cream (or "frappe" if you will).
Number 1: Urban Nature
Number 2: Tranquility
So which do you vote for? We really wanted to paint the bathroom something from the cool family (green, blue), but it's hard to match cools to gold.