Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pistachios!

Zane and I got pistachios for Christmas.

I broke a nail trying to open one up.

Then I encountered one that couldn't be opened.

I gave it to Rufio.

It was love at first sight.

 

Gimli's Courage

For as much as Frodo's courage is sweet and inspiring, Gimli's courage is astounding. Astounding. Zane and I just finished The Two Towers last night, and throughout the entire movie I was shocked and pumped-up by Gimli.

I don't know why it shocked me so much, since I've seen the movie many times.

Helm's Deep: the freakin' scary Uruk-hai are coming. Their 10,000-strong army can be seen for miles. That is, they can be seen by everyone except Gimli. He's shorter than the wall and can only hear their nasty battle cries.

I would be crying my eyes out in the fetal position at this point.
Yet, he's like, "Bring it on, suckas!" and starts the count of how many Uruk-hai he kills. Then later on, when he and Aragorn go around to get the Uruk-hai crowd on the causeway, Gimli takes one look and says, "We can take 'em!"

The same goes for all the previous battles. At one point he's pinned under a worg, and an orc comes to get him. I would have thought, "This is the end." But no, he just kills the orc from under wolf hog thing.

What? I mean, seriously?

If I'm ever a male dwarf in Middle-Earth, can I please be Gimli?

Here's a link to some screenshots of Gimli, my dwarf hero.

Archery Flop

My dad's an archer. He has three daughters. Only one developed a short-lived interest in archery. He now has two sons-in-law. Neither had prior archery experience.

Christmas day, my dad set up a target with some balloons pinned to it.

My bro-in-law, husband, father all hit balloons. My older sister (archery-experience) hit a balloon. My younger sister hit a balloon. My parent's Japanese exchange student hit a balloon.

I shot twice as many arrows as everyone else. I did not hit a balloon.

Then I went inside.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gospel in Christmas

Zane and I were unprepared for Christmas. Throughout the days of Christmas, we were showered with love and family and gifts. Gifts.

It seemed like every time we turned around it was, "Oh, this one's for Zane and Deborah."

The guilt quickly set in for not having gifts for everyone that gave them to us. I said the words, "We don't have anything for you" too often, and it hurt.

What is this mentality in our culture? You scratch my back; I scratch yours. I pay this time; you pay next time. You give me a gift; I give you a gift - oops, unless I don't have one for you! In our culture, we have a built-in expectation to repay what is given to us.

Okay, so basically by Christmas morning, I felt pretty lame. We had received so many amazing gifts and had given so little in comparison. Then it hit me. It's the gospel.

I didn't do anything to earn the gifts that people gave us. They gave them freely out of love and without expectation of gifts in return. For me to be upset that I had nothing to give them was to take away from their joy in giving to me. They just wanted to bless me with a gift. Yet there's this part in me that wants to pay for it somehow.

Jesus' gift of eternal life is the same thing. I could never repay or give God a gift great enough to equal the gift of salvation from death. To try is futile and insulting to the giver. I'm called to accept it and to delight in Him. Sounds simple enough, yet it goes against human nature.

It is abundant grace to be given what I don't deserve. It's true for Christmas gifts, and it's true for a relationship with my Creator. Thanks for the reminder.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Real Vacation

I used to think that vacation was going to the Grand Canyon or some other epic place. I'm changing my mind. That's sight-seeing. That's a trip. That's, at it's best, one type of vacation.

This week I realized what real, relaxing vacation is: the home where Zane grew up. I've been there many times before, but last week - the week before Christmas - I experienced relaxation like never before. 

I like my home. I like my parents' home. But they live in the same town as me. When I'm in town, I'm thinking of all the million things I need to get done. I've got responsibilities. However, when I'm in Zane's hometown, I'm free.  

Zane's hometown vacation in a list:
1. We arrive to a grand welcoming party. Lots of hugs. Lots of love. 

2. We sleep in the loveliest little B&B room (a.k.a. Zane's old bedroom renovated by my creative mother in law). It's such a peaceful place to sleep. It reminds me of bedrooms in my grandma's house and makes me excited about our kids sleeping there one day. Or maybe I'll put them on the floor, because I like the room so much.  

3. Zane's chef parents cook us breakfast in the morning! Actually, all our meals are taken care of for us. We don't have to think about what to eat, because we just show up. I hate to cook, so this is like heaven.

4. We get to be with people. It's always a go-with-the-flow kind of trip where we visit different relatives and friends and hang out for hours (As an extravert, that's on the top of my list of favorite things to do). And the loving welcoming party applies to each new set of people we visit. 

So basically, a relaxing vacation is where I don't have to think about anything, including meals, but get to hang out with people all day. 

Amen!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frodo's Courage

You know you're emotional when you cry at the part of Fellowship of the Ring when the council of Elrond is in a chaotic uproar about who will take the ring to Mordor, and Frodo stands up saying "I'll go." Gandalf's facial expression was the last straw before I felt the tears roll down.

Frodo's a hobbit. His race is known mostly for eating and partying. They aren't warriors, and they don't leave home. Here's what I see in Frodo:

1. Availability. Frodo showed up and volunteered. He didn't fully understand what he was signing up for (if he had, he might not have done it), but he saw a need that he could fill.

2. Humility. He knew he wasn't the strongest, biggest, or bravest. He didn't think of using the ring for himself, and he didn't volunteer to look cool.

3. Perseverance. At the Council of Elrond, Frodo had already nearly died, yet still he volunteered. He didn't give up. If you know the entire story, you know that he continues to persevere even through near death by sword, starvation, and madness.


I relate to Frodo. He's a nobody undertaking a massive task. It's like Moses delivering the Israelites, or David and Goliath. I'd like to think that I'm part of a big adventure like Frodo's. It's hard, and I have no idea what I've gotten myself into, I'm in over my head, but it's epic. I wish I had some direct correlation to something in my life, but I don't know what my massive task is. I'll let you know when I find out.

Do you guys get all philosophical about LOTR too? What do you relate to? Tell me I'm not alone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Cattiness

Sometimes women can be referred to as "catty," which I have come to know as being snobby or rude or other cat-like qualities (sorry cat-lovers). I've recently developed some theories on the subject.

Zane and I had an interesting conversation about a mutual friend from high school days. I remarked that when I first met her, I didn't like her. He asked why, because he had always thought she was nice, even though many of his other female friends didn't like her either. I responded that it was because she was 1) beautiful, 2) friendly, and 3) confident. Triple threat.

You may be thinking, "If she was so friendly, why didn't you like her?" Because! I was a freshman in college when I met her and somewhere in my upbringing, especially in the high school years, I was taught that you dislike women by whom you are intimidated.

It's been many years since that incident, and I react differently to the triple threat now. I find that when I'm introduced to a beautiful, friendly, confident woman, I feel the need to become her friend, to win her over. I guess that's how I deal with intimidation.

Why the difference in gut reaction? Two theories: 1) maturity and 2) marriage.

I think some young women are catty because they think of each other as a threat to snagging their man of choice. After you're married, you still have the woman sense (much like spidey senses) to feel intimidated by a triple threat, but there's no need to dislike her, because she's no threat to your man and you're no threat to hers. Of course, that's not the sole reason behind cattiness, just a theory.

And I'd still like to think that I am more mature now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scroogin' around the Xmas Tree

In the past Christmas has been my favorite part of year. I don't really like cold weather, but I do love the nostalgia, sweetness and magical nature of the holiday. Christmas is special. It's Rudolph and Elf and Ernest P. Worrel. It's advent and carols and nativity scenes. It's reciting Luke 2 and eating egg souflee with family.

This year, I wasn't very excited. I'm not very excited. I'm feeling like a lesser version of Scrooge. I started the Christmas season with negativity. I thought I had stopped giving myself deadlines for children, but apparently I hadn't. In addition to my weird body situation, I felt tremendous sense of apathy and pain in pulling out our Christmas decorations. It wasn't exciting for me, because it's another year without a kid or hope for one.

More evidence of becoming more real - I had an epiphany about how many people in the world are suffering at Christmas. My guess is that there are more people who associated Christmas with pain than with joy, especially for those who have lost loved ones, or are estranged from them, or are otherwise separated from them.

I'm getting a little more excited for Christmas as I purchase everyone's gifts. It was fun to cross stitch for my sisters. It'll be fun to be with family. The Christmas parties have been a fun diversion as well.

I've already processed this internally, and I'm not wallowing away at home. I'm not feeling as anti-Christmas or even as painful as I felt earlier, but I'm also not as full of Christmas spirit as I have been in the past. Maybe it's just part of growing up.

Okay seriously - I'm not trying to be pitiful here, I'm just sharing thoughts.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Insecurity Infestation

Time for another outpouring of my heart.

I recently became aware of my insecurity. I used to be content with bad hair and no make up and weird clothes in college. Actually I think I was just in denial. I've been more self-conscious lately because of this whole acting thing. I feel like I need to look perfect and cool and confident, etc, and I've started being more frustrated by my appearance.

I had a minor freak-out moment this weekend. I started thinking about how much easier it would be to be a mother than to be an actress. (All moms can laugh ridiculingly right now, but don't ever do it to my face). I started crying and wanting to give up. I thought, "This is hard! I have a character flaw!"

Yes, can you believe it? I have a character flaw! Okay, I have many, but one of them is my need for others' approval.

I am trying to break into an industry that bears the criticism of the masses! You know it's true - how many of you leave a movie picking it apart? "She's gotten fat. The story sucked. The graphics were lame." Millions of dollars and thousands of hours go into these productions, and nine out of ten get shot down by the general public.

This thought made me nervous. What the heck am I doing? I'm branching out from my safe bubble of close friends, who don't care what my hair looks like and say that my eyeliner looks great (when I think I look kinda...not great). I'm going into an industry where you get casted by your appearance, where the audience feels at full liberty to tear you down.

Then I remembered all the times that God raises people up to do His work. Many of them weren't excited about what He had in store for them. All of them had serious character flaws. That's part of what makes God's work so amazing, He uses flawed people.

If it's hard and scary, I should move forward. I mean look at Caleb (Bible story found in Judges - Old Testament) - faithless, freaked out, but it was through his insecurity that God showed His glory. At this point, I literally have nothing to lose.

Plus, bonus: last night we were party-hopping, and I was super insecure about my appearance. I can't believe how many people made comments on how good I looked. I just laughed and thought about how God meets my needs. It's like He was saying, "I know you're taking a risk, but I've got friends lined up for you along the way." Good, because I need friends too.

I wish I could say my insecurity is cured, but it's not. I'm just more aware of it. I'm pushing through, carrying on. By the way, thanks to everyone who said I was pretty yesterday. :) And for all the encouraging facebook comments on my headshots. Keep 'em comin'!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rufio's Hammock

Rufio usually sleeps under the bed (unless Zane is travelling and I cave in...oops!). He has a bad habit of  digging under the bed, which is basically just scraping the floor repeatedly. It's really annoying, and we yell at him and drag him out, and he still does it!

The other night he was digging and it sounded a little different. Yelling at him didn't help, so I reached my hand under the bed to grab him. I grabbed his body, but it was wrapped up in something. Then I had to turn the light on to figure out what was going on. 


When I saw him, I started laughing and told Zane to come take a look. 

The box spring fabric was torn before we ever got Rufio, so he wasn't totally destructive here, but now it's torn even more. I might be mad if we had bought the box spring full price or something, but it was given to Zane in college and it's probably 10 years old. 

Oh, Rufio, always the entertainer. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tropical Chicken

Love this place.

Zane and I went to Pollo Tropical after our Disney trip for dinner. We wanted something cheap and fairly healthy. We split a chicken, beans and rice tropichop for $4.00, and still had enough for my lunch the next day. That wouldn't normally happen, but we were eating really late and neither of us was in the gluttonous mood.

We also tried four of their sauces:
Guava BBQ
Regular BBQ
Curry Mustard
Cilantro Ranch

All of them were awesome.

While we enjoyed our feast, we conversed and spoke against Moe's in terms of the deliciousness and good price. I'm still bitter.

Follow-up to the Moe's post - I like being able to get a kid's meal. I don't like the age limit thing. Chick Fil-A would never put a limit on it. I have to judge every quick-serve restaurant against Chick Fil-A, because they're the best. Moe's, you're not the best...unless you give me back the Moo! *end bitter rant*

I'll try the Joey Jr., but I still don't like the principle of it all! *end last word to rant*

Viva Pollo Tropical!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Space Mountain Uncovered

I'm posting a lot about our Disney trip on Wednesday, but there's just a lot to share!

We ended up in Tomorrowland after dark. It was cold and I had to put on my hat and gloves. We got our fast-passes for Space Mountain, because I had heard that it was renovated, and we didn't get to ride it on our last visit.

While we waited to return to Space Mountain, we rode ol' Buzz Lightyear. Zane beat me by 10%. My thumbs hurt after the first 15 seconds of the ride.

Then we went on the rockets. It had been 16 years since I last rode them. It'll be another 14 years at least before I go on that ride again. It was cold. It was crowded. I was dizzy. I was scared. My hands hurt from gripping the bar in front of me.

We still had a few minutes to kill before Space Mountain fast-pass return, so we did the Tomorrowland Transit Authority! I love love love that ride. It takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland. Very low-key. Perfect ride to rest your feet after a lot of walking. There's never a line for it either.

Guess what awesome surprise was in store for us?! You probably already know by the title of this post! The TTA takes you around Space Mountain so you can get a glimpse of it if you're too scared to ride it. Usually, you just see stars and hear screams, but we got to see this:

Yes! The lights were on! At first, you ride through a part of Space Mountain where the cars are moving up the track (toward the beginning of the ride). Well, a car was stopped, and Disney employees were helping out the guests who were riding in it. Then we went around the corner and saw this! I was so excited, because I had only heard what it looked like with the lights on. 


Not so scary, huh? I mean, it wasn't that scary with the lights off either. It just looks kind of boring with the lights on. 

We were actually too shocked to take pictures the first time around, so we rode the TTA one more time to get photos of Space Mountain. Sorry they're fuzzy. We were moving, and we couldn't use the flash because there's a window between us and the ride. You get the idea though. 

Disney magic revealed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Souvenir Sacrilege

Never have I ever been allowed to buy a souvenir at a theme park. Except one time we went to Six Flags, got soaking wet on a flume ride, and my mom bought us new, dry t-shirts. Needless to say, this mentality was ingrained in me. I don't even like going into the gift shops. I'm one of those people that resent the fact that the rides exit into stores.

Well, on Wednesday, Zane and I took it easy on our Magic Kindgom trip. I have a tendency to go crazy trying to ride as many rides as possible. Since we've been on nearly all of them, we just chilled out and enjoyed our favorite parts, while exploring new things.

For instance, I had never been in the tavern restaurant in Liberty Square outside of the Haunted Mansion. They have upstairs seating in there. It's pretty cool.

I also had never visited (you guessed it) many gift shops, but Zane and I managed to go to almost all of them. I actually liked it. It was fun to see what kind of Disney merchandise there is. We found a Mickey kitchen sink stopper and Mickey-shaped pasta.

My mind had been in "just looking" mode, but I kept seeing a particularly cute line of dolls. At first I said, "Oh, that's cute." But then I started to rationalize. Zane and I were having such a great day and really enjoying each other's company. It wouldn't be so bad to go ahead and buy something really cute.

Plus, it's really cute. Plus, I'll always look at it and remember our magical day. (Disney haters groan as necessary).

Here it is:
Ah! So cute!!!

And here he is with my skinny, bendy Santa:

He's my version of the santa mouse doll that my sisters used to fight over when we were kids. He'll forever be a part of our Christmas traditions. We'll forever look at him and remember how much fun we had when we were first married. And how in love we were. And how skinny we were. And how clever we were to buy a souvenir on that day at Disney. 

And that's the story of how I caved in and bought a souvenir. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Disney Castles

Yesterday Zane and I went to Magic Kingdom.  I'm glad we were able to squeeze in a trip during this busy holiday season, because we got to see this:
Amazing!

Plus, we discovered some new things. Disney is expanding Fantasyland to include some of the other princesses. They'll each have their own miniature castle and an attraction or restaurant! 

Colored fences cover the construction. On the fences are large murals of the different castles. It made me want prints of them. I mean, what a great set of wall art!

Fun times at Disney. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tick Tack Ear

Rufio had a tick.

He was rubbing his ear, so I checked it out. Boom! A tick! I flipped out internally. I've never seen one in real life, and it was gross and there is a large red sore/bump where it was. Here's a picture right before I pulled it out.
Rufio's poor little ear, with the stupid tick. :(

First, I asked my dad what to do. He hunts and has gotten ticks and knows everything anyways. He said to put alcohol on it. I asked if he thought I should use my whiskey or my brandy. Yeah right, I reserve those for my hot totties! For Rufio ticks, I use isopropyl.

I was hoping the tick would let go after a good soak, but it didn't. 

After 15-30 minutes of nothing, I decided to google it. Turns out everyone says to use tweezers, but be gentle and make sure you have the head in your tweezers so it doesn't get stuck in there. I did, and the tick came right off. It was dead. Probably due to asphyxiation by isopropyl. I still squished it with my tweezers. It's a power trip thing. 

I put neosporin on Rufio's wound. I hope it goes down. He's up to date on his heart worm pill, so there's no fear of that!

Now he's resting peacefully next to me. Crisis averted. Adventure complete.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chicken Little Intelligence

Once upon a time, when Zane and I returned from our honeymoon, we bought a whole chicken. I had heard that this was a cheaper way of making chicken and was a fairly easy endeavor.

Six to eight months later, I moved that chicken from the freezer to the fridge to thaw for a few days.

My newlywed heart was very naive and excited about cooking, no matter what feats must be accomplished. I took that chicken out of the fridge and put it in the sink. Then I threw away those nasty insides and started trying to figure out how to cut it up.

Everyone said it was easy to do.

I sawed and pulled and yanked that chicken around. I broke it's back and wings and ribs. I threw scraps of raw poultry meat into a bucket and scraps of unidentified poultry nastiness into another one. I gave up on the wings, wondering how anyone gets the meat off those little bones. After nearly an hour, my back hurt, my fingers hurt, my brain hurt. It's incredibly NOT easy to pull apart raw meat from the bone.

I had been traumatized by tearing apart a once-living being. I better understood why people go vegetarian. I finished my chicken off and threw away the carcass, glad to be done with my disgusting task.

Then I immediately updated my facebook status to something along the lines of, "I hate making a whole chicken. I'll never do it again! It's so gross!" To which, many women replied, "Me too!" "Eww!" "I don't do them either!"

A few days later, I told the story to my coworkers, to which, my boss replied, "We cook our chicken first. Then it just kind of falls off the bones."

I identify with butchers.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cross Stitch Fun!

 On black Friday I picked up some of these from Michael's.


I've never cross-stitched before but was in awe at the beauty of the patterns in the cross stitch aisle. My wise mother-in-law advised that I start with something small if I want to try it. Bingo! They had these little ornament kits for a dollar! 

They come with everything you need, including a needle.  I finished my first one in two evenings.

And my second one didn't take long either.

I plan on giving these two to my sisters, and I'm making a coordinating one for myself (the unfinished one pictured above). I inadvertantly saved the most difficult one for last. There is no symmetry in the holly! I'm not intimidated, though. I accept the challenge. I spit on assymmetrical designs! That's the best you got?! Ha!

I also recommend these to any other beginner cross-stitchers. They're a great way to learn and feel accomplished in a short amount of time. Just my style.

P.S. I just learned that you don't use the entire floss thing given to you. You only use 2-3 threads. This would have been helpful to know before I started. Oh well. Thick stitches.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Whale of a Tale of a Nail

I've a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A tale of a nail or two!
How I use my hands and don't wear shoes
And blood and cut and pain and bruise
I swear by my tattoo! 

First, I accidentally kicked the edge of our tile steps last night. It hurt like a beast. There was blood. It  knocked off my nail polish, which worried me that my nail came off too, but it stayed on. I nearly fainted at the thought. I was still limping this morning.

Then my thumbnail broke this afternoon when I was handling boxes at work. I am so thankful that my nails "peel" apart, or I would have been in some MAJOR pain.
 
 
The end.
 
P.S. Fifty points for knowing the original lyrics to the beginning song and where they are from!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Destroying Toys

As a child, I was not allowed to cut my barbies' hair or draw on their faces. I was taught to take good care of my toys. It was so engrained in me that when I got a doodle bear, I felt the freedom of rebellion in writing all over it, which was its purpose.

Freedom of rebellion...that's an interesting concept.

Anyways. I have failed to teach my dog the same respect for toys. As soon as he receives a toy, he makes it his purpose to take it apart. Maybe he's going to be an engineer, because I've heard that's a trait of child engineers. Except that those kids usually put the toys back together. Rufio hasn't learned that part.

Maybe he's just a dog.

For many weeks, he had been working on removing the nose from his stuff-animal dog (I know, it's somewhat cannibalistic). The moment he finally detatched the nose from the face, he ran victoriously around the house with it in his mouth.

I'm talking laps. I'm talking skipping around.

It was similar to when an army beheads the general of their enemy army and rides around town showing it off. You know...when they used to do that... I saw it in a movie once.

I'm thinking of getting him a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas so I can teach him how to produce and not just to destroy. How to build up, not to tear down. How to gather stones together and not cast them away. 'Cause right now the only thing he produces is....well, you know. Poop.

Maybe I'll get him a doodle bear!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It can be worse.

You know what's worse than the monthly reminder that you're not pregnant?

A late period.

This might be too much information, so I'll keep it short while keeping it real. For most people, being two weeks late means pregnancy. Not true for me. Yet, I still dream, hope, wish and think of names or how to rearrange furniture, hoping beyond hope that I'm one of the few whose tests continue to show false negatives. At the same time, I'm hoping that AF (as it (Aunt Flo[w]) is referred to in the world of TTC (trying to conceive), which really is its own world) will come soon and end the misery of waiting.

Sorry, but this is the bane of my existence.

I should add that no matter how much I want to pity myself, I can usually think of at least one person who has it worse than me. It's a depressing way to make myself feel less sorry for myself. Enough negativity (unless it's a preg. test...)! I can only handle so many of these depressing posts.

I also by the grace of God, have been able to see a little bit of purpose in all this. Still painful, but with some kind of God-glorifying purpose.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Evolution of the Moo

When I was in college, I was introduced to a place called Moe's Southwest Grill. A very popular item at Moe's is the Moo Moo Mr. Cow (Moo for short), a children's burrito meal that comes with chips, a drink, and cookie.

In 2004, the year of my first encounter with Moe's, the Moo was $3.49ish.

Side note: This was when Zane, a stranger to me at the time, ate at Moe's five times a week. His doctor told him to cut back because his blood pressure was so high. But on the flip side, we have tons of those crayon-shaped kid cups.

Somewhere around 2006-2007, Moe's by UCF raised the price of the Moo to $4.49! We were all shocked, but went with it because, seriously, you do get more food with a Moo than the other kids meals. But come on, a whole dollar? There's no inflation excuse there.

Circa 2008-2009 Moe's did something else horrible. They SHRUNK the Moo burrito! And kept the same higher price! Can you believe this? What are they trying to do, get money?

Still, for about $5.00, you can get a small burrito, drink and cookie.

Until now... (insert dramatic gopher music: dum dum DUM!!!!)

Last weekend in some Moe's near a movie theater on the other side of this state...near Tampa...somewhere. I was eating with my soon-to-be sister-in-law and I ordered a Moo, only to be THWARTED by the semi-nice Moe's employee saying that I could NOT get the free drink and cookie because I am not 12 years old.

Tyranny!!!

She told me this at the register, leaving me so shocked that I tried to be nice while saying, "I do not approve," which was kind of awkward to say. But later I was very upset that I paid $5.00 for a tiny burrito and chips. That's it. No drink. No cookie.

Oooooooh...makes me so mad.

Moe's of Orlando, here me say: if you do this, I will boycott. I will! Watch me do it!! I'll take you down!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blokus Attack!

Have you guys played Blokus?

Back in March 2009, our Japanese exchange student told us about it. I had no idea what she was describing and I thought it was due to the language barrier.

Last November, someone mentioned it on facebook. I gave it to some friends that Christmas and finally got to play this amazingly fun game.

Three cheers for weddings, because my sister and bro-in-law got it as a wedding gift a couple weeks ago! We played it for a couple hours trying different strategies. (Maybe just one hour...it's hard to say)

It's a game for everyone. You don't have to be good with math or words or charades. It's for introverts and extroverts. For young and old! A perfect bridge for language barriers, like with your husband...JK! With your Japanese students, or foreign relatives, or....other times when you have language barriers. It's also good for times when you all speak the same language! So versatile!

This Christmas, give it to one of your close friends, so you can play it with them. Or get it for me, hehe.

P.S. I just discovered the Blokus website, which I linked above. You can play online. Test it out, and see if you don't fall in love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Auditions Adventure!

Saturday I went to some Full Sail auditions. Full Sail intimidates me. Everyone there is super cool. They're also cinematic geniuses...genuisi.

I wore my best cool-kid outfit and actually did my hair and make up. Putting mascara on and straightening my hair are major chores to me. I like to think it's because I'm low maintenance and not just lazy.

Full Sail is made up of lots of dark, scary-looking buildings. Once I finally found 3F (after I figured out the number/letter system), I had to ask a bunch of cool kids where the auditions were. They were very nice and pointed me in the right direction.

Once I made it to the casting lobby, where they have a long table with all the different films lined up, I realized I forgot which films I had come to audition for. This was embarassing. I ended up asking the different representatives which films were casting for young women. Yeah, my "amateur" stamp was showing up on my forehead. I like to think I charmed them with my good looks and quick wit, though.

Welp! The auditions went well. I didn't have to wait long to see any of the directors. After reading for the first director, he gave me an additional scene to read. I took this as a good sign. That was for the recovering addict role, where I will (if casted) pretend to smoke. That will be an adventure of its own.

I also read for the role of a woman with PTSD and did a non-speaking audition (completely action and mannerisms, etc) for a homeless woman. Acting homeless is kind of difficult. At one point, the director told me to "run home," so I jogged across the room and said, "but I'm homeless!"

Summary: I auditioned for a drug addict, woman with ptsd, and homeless person.

I kind of hope I get a call back, and I kind of hope I don't.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

He Speaks to Me

Rufio has found a way to get our attention whenever we're busy.
It's usually accompanied by a "dance," but I'll have to share that with you later. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ingenious Ideas

My family has a rare talent of coming up with great ideas. Maybe not so rare. Maybe medium well.

The wedding planners needed a way to hang my sister's dress while keeping the skirt from getting vertical wrinkles.

The solution? 

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you have unending uses. 


The best part is they can just keep it assembled until Christmas. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homemade Applesauce

It's as easy a 1-2-3!!

1. Peel, de-core and slice apples. (Okay, that's kind of 1-2-3 right there).

2. Throw them in a pot with cinnamon, nutmeg, water, and [optional] sugar. Turn up the heat.


(Photo taken with Zane's sweet macbook pro that has one mouse button and no true delete. And you have to use "command" instead of "control" when using functions like ctrl-Z.)

3. Stir and mash when hot.

The end!

Store it in the fridge. Eat it instead of oreos!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Evidence

Evidence that I jumped in a lake for a student film last week.


I'm looking pretty happy. 


You can't tell how cold it is or how hard it was for me to breathe. The camera knows no temperature. Could have been summertime with a high of 85 degrees. Or it could have been two days later which was also a high of 85. November in Florida=fickle weather. 

Fun times. 

Photos by Sylvana Fernandez

Friday, November 19, 2010

SisterLove

What I did last weekend in one photo:


Successfully married off my sister. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Disheartening Realizations

Yesterday I went to my thought world. I like to travel there while I drive or shower or sit and stare at the wall.

A familiar thought resurfaced: the disheartening realization that no matter what you contribute to society, it and you will eventually be forgotten. Sure, I know that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin (or took credit for it, at least), but I don't know, care about, or love Eli Whitney. He's just a name. It's rare that even a name gets remembered.

Say I fulfill my dreams and make a movie or publish a novel. Whether it's a hit or flop, in a few months/years it'll be old news. Young kids will laugh that older generations ever thought it was cool.

I had been browsing through upcoming movies and was amazed at how many movies an individual actor will work on in a year. It's such an inflated market, and so much work and money go into each film. Still, the people that made it awesome all pass their prime eventually.

Take Cary Elwes. I like him. He's so dreamy in The Princess Bride. He's in a new movie with Natalie Portman, and let's face it: he doesn't look at all like the Wesley we know and love. He will probably never have a roll like that again, nor could he. That was over 15 years ago. That's a timeless movie, but even it might be forgotten in 50 years.

I saw picture of an old actress hanging at Buca Di Beppos on Saturday night. I thought maybe it was Greta Garbo, but even my 80 year-old grandma didn't know who it was, because the actress was before my grandma's time. A familiar face with no name.

Actors, athletes, any performer has an expiration date. And their game, movie, production is only enjoyed for a short period of time.

So I thought, "What's the point? Why am I even trying to do this?"

Except for fun, there's no point if I do it for myself. But I concluded that if I keep my trust in God, my only eternal hope, then whatever plans He has for me on earth will be part of a bigger picture. It doesn't matter what art I create on my own, but what art I create for Him and through Him.

Then when I'm gone and a few generations pass and my name is less remembered than Eli Whitney, it won't matter, because God's plan keeps going. I can know that I completed my part of the story.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts Over Popcorn

We have six bags of popcorn that expired on 11-4-10. I guess Zane and I don't eat popcorn that much.

I love when the microwave tells me, "enjoy popcorn." Someday I'm going to heat up leftover pizza on the popcorn setting. Then when it's over and the microwave says, "enjoy popcorn," I'll laugh ridiculingly and say, "Gotcha! It's pizza, loser!"

I'm using Zane's Macbook Pro. It has a nice full-sized keyboard, unlike my netbook. However, I dislike the one-button mouse. I rely on the right-click. This is frustrating.

I like salty things. Like salted mixed nuts, salted pretzels, salted popcorn and cheese.

My sister got married this weekend. I wore my Dallas hair. I've always avoided volumizing shampoos. I lack no body in my hair.

Why do Mac's have a "delete" button that's the same as "backspace" but they don't have a "delete" that's the same as "delete"? Sometimes a girl wants to delete the stuff in front, not just behind. Apparently I like to do it a lot.

A few days ago I gave popcorn to Rufio, but he didn't eat it. I had to pick it up and throw it away.

Yesterday in acting class I felt like a total amateur. I woke up with anxiety about it this morning. I prayed about it, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then I went to work, and it was okay. (about it, about it, about it)

I just dropped some popcorn and Rufio took it to the living room. I'll let you know how it goes.

I take pride in my knowledge of the parts of speech. Adjectives do not describe adjectives. Adverbs describe adjectives.

I'm going to make homemade applesauce. Zane doesn't like mealy apples, and the last batch I bought was mealy. Gala aren't supposed to be mealy, but these were. So applesauce they will become. I guess I'll let you know how that goes too.

I never disliked mealy apples until I married Zane. Now I can't stand 'em. ("I cee-an't stee-and 'em" what's that from?)

I also never played Monopoly at McDonalds before Zane.

I also never played Zelda before Zane.

This list could go on and on. Zane has introduced me to many lovely things in life. But he also introduced me to Legends of the Fall. Not so lovely.

I want an oreo.

P.S. Rufio came back alone, so I guess he ate the popcorn. Or left it for me to clean up.
P.P.S. (update) My dislike for Legends of the Fall has nothing to do with the infertility aspect. Only the general unhappy mood of the entire film which ended horribly and left me feeling sad and disturbed for a while...even to this day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Misleading Harvesters

Sometimes I check the traffic sources for this blog to see how people end up here.

I get a lot of hits from search words including "harvest hornet's nest." This makes me feel bad. I mean, there are good people out there trying to legitimately research how to deal with their hornet's nests and instead they end up on my post about Rufio possibly eating hornets.

Sorry, guys. I have no idea what true hornet harvesting is all about. It sounds gross to me. I commend you for your attempt to DIY that kind of thing. Maybe this blog post will help. Probably not.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oreo Addiction!!!!

I've blogged about my infatuations with certain foods before.

Well, dang it! My husband came home with a package of Oreos that were leftover from some party at one of his schools. I'm pretty sure I've eaten half of it. I live with two other people - boys infact, but I haven't seen either one with an oreo in the last two weeks.

Yesterday I ate four.

I'm usually not tempted by processed treats because I just look at the ingredients and get totally grossed out by all the chemicals. In this case...I haven't allowed myself to look at the ingredients because I don't want to know. I just want to eat oreos forever.

I hate oreos. They're ruining my life. But I love them. They taste good.

I just ate two. I dunked them in milk. That makes it healthier, you know.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Story of Rufio

Once upon a time I was mad at God and the world. This was mostly because I couldn't get pregnant. I was getting pretty lonely and needy for someone to love/take care of. I had been wanting to get a dog for years, but it was never the right time. College was too busy. Then Zane and I lived in an apartment where we weren't allowed to have pets, not even a fish. Then we got a house, but we took a three-week road trip. Finally, at the end of the summer it seemed like the right time to get a dog.

I knew we couldn't afford a premium puppy, and I wanted to rescue a dog instead of promote over-population of animals. I searched SPCA places, but none of the dogs seemed right for us. I searched craigslist, but was having a hard time finding the "right one."

Our criteria: male, no shedding, under $100.

I kept getting frustrated because nothing was coming up. Saturday morning I was in the shower thinking about life, as I often do, and I thought about my list of criteria. I felt hopeless about finding a dog. Next thing I knew, I was praying that God would give it to me. I hadn't talked to Him for a while, because I was pretty convinced He didn't care about my needs (based on the lack of baby, of course).

I said, "God, here's what I want and I want it today. Can't I at least have a dog? A dog?!"

I found one that day that was $200 and asked the lady to come down on the price. She said she'd get back with me. Sunday evening she called and let me know that someone else purchased her dog. I was pretty bummed.

Monday morning I was completely depressed with life. I dejectedly got on craigslist and saw a small black dog. I texted the owner and by 5:00pm, Rufio was in my arms. He was $110 with his crate, food, dish, toys, etc.

Rufio bonded with me immediately.

Tuesday morning I drove to work in tears. I was overwhelmed with how perfectly God provided. I couldn't say He didn't care anymore, because He did, He does. He didn't answer my prayer in my time frame, but He answered it in a better way than I predicted.

I think He does that a lot.

Sometimes I have to fight off feeling lame because other people have babies and I have a dog. But you know, this dog jump-started me out of a period of  depression and spiritual silence. I had a reason to get out of bed, if only to walk him. He made me laugh with his antics. He made me feel needed. He's pretty important to me, even if he is just a dog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Eye of the Storm

This evening is the eye of the storm of busy life. I'm looking back on the whirlwind of last week and looking forward to the fully-packed wedding weekend festivities for my sister. I'll try to crank out a few posts to keep you occupied while I celebrate my sister's marital union.

Recap on my weekend:

Remember how I told you guys about the student film? Here's my experience in one word: fun. I got to work with some genuine, hilarious, creative people. They were really great, and I was thrilled to be a part of their creative world even if just for a few hours.

I jumped in a lake. It was [insert adverb] cold! My chest cavity collapsed and I sunk to the bottom of the lake. Not really. But I did gasp and swallow water and cause the crew to look on in shock and horror and ask if I was alright. I couldn't respond. I tried to say yes. I tried to look cool and natural. But I apparently looked like I was drowning. After a short eternity (30-60 seconds) I was able to say my line.

Both Saturday and Sunday nights, I hit the pillow completely exhausted but completely happy. It was the fatigue of a kid after a day at Disney. Or an Olympic athlete after a gold medal event. Or....an aspiring actor after a non-paid student film gig.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hi-diddly-dee....

...an actor's life for me! (Name that movie for 50 points).

Two years ago I played in a student film in the extreme heat of Florida March. I was in a hazmat suit, so we're talking personal sauna. The only thing good about the suit, was that I didn't get sunburned.

This weekend central Florida is having a nice little cold snap! You know, highs in the low-70s. Well, guess what? I'm in a in a student film this weekend, where I'll be wearing a sundress today and a swim suit on Sunday. Bonus: I'll be jumping in a lake! Think like a polar bear...or those old guys who jump in icy water.

But as Yvonne says, "The camera knows no temperature!" Hopefully the camera won't pick up my blue lips either. Yikes!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Deliciously Accidental Soup

I'm not much of a cook (baking is another story). I dislike long, involved recipes. I rarely plan out meals. When dinnertime rolls around, I'm usually thinking what's the easiest thing with the fewest ingredients that I can make.

Last night I looked at my ingredients (ham that we needed to consume, frozen broccoli, fresh onions, frozen peppers) and thought to myself, "These would be great with a cheese sauce."

I pulled out my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which is the first go-to for recipes. I found an easy cheese sauce and went to it.

Here is it:
2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups milk
cheese (I did shredded cheddar and parmesan)
salt and pepper to taste (the cheese is pretty salty though)

Few ingredients makes a happy Deborah. P.S. This is a very dairy sauce. Not for the intolerant ones.

I got the sauce going and had my sous chef, Zane, chop up the ham and onions. I tossed in the frozen broccoli. We decided against the peppers (because we'd have to open a new bag...don't judge!), and threw in the chopped stuff.

We took it off the burner and waited for the sauce to thicken, but it wasn't happening. Since we were starving, we just put it into bowls and ate it as soup. It was delicious! It was like broccoli cheddar soup at Panera, only with onions and ham. So, not that similar, but equally yummy.

Aaaaaaaand, that's how it's done. The end.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Life of a Cotton Ball

Last weekend I was in Cordele, GA with Booster! We stayed on a cotton farm in a really beautiful farmhouse. It was my first time seeing cotton plants. Old history lessons were flowing through my brain about the old south, the cotton gin, and the slaves who had to work all this stuff by hand.

Here's a close up of the cotton on the plant. It was ready for harvest. It feels just like the stuff you buy, only when you first pick it, it's full of seeds. Hence, the importance of the cotton gin! It was pretty tedious picking the seeds out by hand.

I picked myself a piece of cotton and took the seeds out. I kept rubbing it thinking out amazing God is to create such a lovely thing as cotton. Since I usually buy it in a bag, I forget that it came from the ground.

Where's Rufio? (clue: he's wearing his Booster shirt).

Kayla and I started to twirl the cotton into yarn as we walked back to the house. I now see the importance of the spinning wheel! My fingers hurt by the time we had finished, and we had only twirled three or four "cloves" of cotton together. We were proud of our long piece of yarn. So proud that... 

...Kayla crocheted it!

And there you have it: the life of cotton. From plant to the miniature blanket.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Response

I just wanted to take the time to respond to the responses I received after writing about The Unwanted Adventure. Thank you to everyone who took a moment to encourage me.

So far that post has the most hits of all my posts from the beginning of this blog. That alone showed me two things:

1. More people read this blog than I thought.

2. It's a tangible representation of one of the ways God has blessed me through this trial, and that is the opportunity for deep, real relationships.

This is the first time in my life that I have the capacity to understand true suffering, yet I still acknowledge that there is much deeper suffering in this world than what I'm going through. It's the first time that I'm really hurting about something that's out of my control.

It's so scary to take down the walls that guard our hearts. I think that there's a time for it and a time to keep things to yourself. Lately, the times I have allowed the walls to fall have resulted in some of the most encouraging, life-changing conversations. It's amazing how many people have opened up to me about their hurt after I have shared about mine. Praise the Lord for that. It gives me hope that this trial is not happening in vain.

Everyone has a story. Sometimes it takes a while to peel back the layers though.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kinda Like Daisy Chains

Rufio and I relaxed outside in the shade of the pine trees the other day.
 I got creative and made him a pine needle collar.
It's like a daisy chain...only prickly, and hard to weave, and not as pretty.

I have a compliant dog.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fairy Halloween Costume!

Zane and I had big asperations for Halloween this year. Our plans got a little bit foiled, which is okay. Because of this, I was going to dip out on making a costume, but then I remembered that my office is pretty serious about "Harvest Day." Yeah, costume contest, prizes, breakfast at the office, the whole shebang. ("She bangs, she bangs"...anyone? That guy that was famous for a couple months...for singing badly? Nevermind.)

Oh - the big asperations? Well....I can't tell you everything, in case we do it next year. BUT! I'll tell you this: I was going to be a famous fairy. Without my entourage, it doesn't matter what fairy I am, so I decided to go generic for the office party tomorrow.

Generic Fairy Costume!

A few weeks ago I bought a lacy, bright green top and a weird, crocheted-looking muted green top from Thriftko. The muted top was my plan for a fairy skirt. The fabric texture looks like leaves or vines or something. Here it is with Rufio intruding on my picture.

The first thing I did was rip out the sleeves and the seams at the shoulders. I wanted it to be a tube, which would then turn into a skirt.

Then I got a shoelace from Zane, which was a brownish color. I threaded this through the bottom hem of the shirt. I planned on flipping the shirt upside down - the shoelace acting as a drawstring.

Here's a close up of what I mean! I ended up knotting it, but on my first try I used a bow. You can also see the texture of the skirt better in this photo.  

Then I chopped up the bottom of the skirt to look all leafy. I used the pieces that I cut off and sewed them all around the front and back of the skirt, to look more ruffled.

Threw on my bright lacy top, black leggings, and a leather belt and voila. A coworker is letting me borrow wings to finish my fairy outfit. I might do my make up, but I'm kind of a low-key costume-wearer (as in, I like it to be about the clothing, not the make-up and hair...although, those are important too).

I can double this skirt for a Tarzan/Jane theme, or lost boy, or maybe an elf. And I can definitely save it for when Zane and I pull out the big guns. Perhaps next year.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bok Tower Gardens

Zane and I went to the Bok Tower Gardens on Saturday. It was part of our day date. We don't do those very often, and we had to be really strict with our schedules to prioritize this day.


First we started in the museum. It was interesting to learn about the tower and the bells.

Some of the bells are pretty huge.

Then we walked through the gardens. There are tons of little pathways and hidden benches. The entire garden is meant for resting and enjoying nature. It was so peaceful.
My first sighting of a preying/praying mantis. Plus it was brown. It's totally watching me take its picture.

I've never seen lily pads this big. It looks like something out of Zelda. Wait, I think I did see it in Zelda - Forest Temple, Wind Waker? Or was that Ocarina of Time? It's all jumbled in my mind.

We relaxed on this lawn for a while. It was such a beautiful day. The oak trees provided plenty of shade, while we listened to the 30 minute carillon concert.


Next time, we're taking a blanket and a picnic.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Unwanted Adventure

I've always wanted to have an adventurous life. I dreamed about travel and acting and marriage and children. I didn't dream about infertility. But hey, I don't always get to choose what adventures I undertake. Sometimes they are chosen for me...and sometimes they're not wanted.

I have a lot of reservations about blogging on this part of my life, but I've been greatly encouraged by others' blogs on the topic, so hopefully it will be encouraging to you or at least educational.

Zane and I are currently on a journey through infertility.

These are are some reasons why I haven't posted about infertility:
- I fear that people will put me into their accurate/inaccurate perception of what that means.
- I fear that people will want to talk to me about it, and I don't necessarily want to talk to people about it, even though I am blogging about it.
- I think, "What if I get pregnant this month and I just announced to the world that I'm infertile?" Well, then praise the Lord.
- It's embarrassing. Yeah, it shouldn't be, but it is.
- It's uncomfortable. It's like when there's a bunch of people about to eat a cake and that one person is like, "Oh, sorry, I'm diabetic. No, no, keep eating...no, it's okay." Awkwardness. Then everyone's not sure of what to do or say. They might even feel bad because they can eat tons of sugar and that other person can't.
- I don't want advice from everyone and their brother.
- I don't want attention because of it.

I'll be blogging more about this part of my life and how God has been working in my heart. I recently had the opportunity to guest post on a friend's infertility blog, so if you want to learn about what God's been doing so far, you can read my post here.

Also, I'd really appreciate it if people would read these rules before commenting or really, just talking to anyone who is struggling through this. These "rules" are from another infertility blog, and I found them to be totally relevant and helpful.

That's all for now, stay tuned.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HISMSV - The Big Texan

HISMSV - How I spent my summer vacation.

Yep, still embarrassed to be blogging about summer, but hey - this is important stuff!

My sister lived in Amarillo, Texas for a semester, so she knows what to do for fun in Amarillo, Texas. Had she not told me, hundreds of billboards along every road leading to Amarillo told me: eat at the Big Texan!

 Because everything's bigger in Texas!

If you can eat a whole 72oz steak + sides, then you get it free. That's their claim to fame. We did not participate. Although, Zane is enjoying a steak, just not 72 ounces.

Part of the experience is taking a photo in the big Texan rocking chair.

Boy, them Texans love their state. There was a waffle iron in the shape of Texas in the gift shop. I didn't buy it. But I might be tempted to buy one in the shape of Florida. Let's hear it for state pride, Floridians!

Everything's wetter in Florida. I meant better!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

HISMSV - Walnut Canyon

HISMSV = How I spent my summer vacation.

It's somewhat embarrassing to be writing about the summer now that it's already October. I mean, I should have written all these posts in July or August, but I tend to procrastinate. Well, never fear, I will persevere! I have more interesting destinations from our summer road trip to share with you.

Just east of Flagstaff is a national monument called Walnut Canyon. I don't remember how I found this place online, but once I saw pictures, I decided we had to go. It looked so cool. Cave dwellings! You can beat that!

The hike was a very easy, one-hour hike. It was a great day for hiking - a little overcast. We took our time and enjoyed the views. We were the only ones on the trail for most of the hike. I recommend it.
I'm demonstrating how native Americans lived in them so many years ago. They slept just so.

Some of these walls have been restructured in the way that the native Americans would have built them. The modern builders used the same materials as the natvies would have used.

Standing with the cave dwelling at your back, you see this awesome view of the canyon.

Across the canyon there are more cave dwellings! It was fun to imagine what it would have been like to live in them during that time period.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Twilight Princess

I started a new Zelda game. Twilight Princess.
At first, Zane said I couldn't play it until I finished Ocarina of Time. But I convinced him that it would be okay. Then after I started the game, I felt the need to play all the time. That's how I know it's fun.


Well, something happened to me. I started getting motion sickness. I thought it only happened when I watched other people play video games, but no. It happens when I play them if the graphics are advanced enough.

Sad day. I can play in 20 minute increments, and thus have been slowly pushing through the game. Maybe this is a good, built-in time allotment. I used to play for hours if I wasn't careful. Now, after 20 minutes, my head is throbbing and I have to close my eyes. Sad day.

Maybe I will go back and finish Ocarina of Time with its primitive graphics. Then I'll go farther back in Nintendo time and play the NES Zeldas. Apparently that's all I can handle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Booster Dog

The first ever (to my knowledge) Booster gear for dogs!
Designed exclusively for Rufio by Deborah
Zane and I have been saying how Rufio is total Booster. He's enthusiastic, he's got great character. He's high-energy, and he delivers a remarkable experience. He's an all-around amazing dog who is out there to change the world.
  
Here he is, rockin' the outfit. I made it from a youth small all-start shirt. I just used my savvy seamstress skills to re-design it into dog gear. Savvy?
  
Rufio got tired of the photo shoot, so he went to the other side of the room. But I still took pictures of him. Hellooooo, I have a zoom feature! You can't escape me, little man!

Booster gear for pups will be making it's live debut at the Orlando Booster team weekend retreat!