Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ctrl-Z for Life!

I have a deep fondness for Ctrl-Z (aka: undo button). Holding down Control and Z on the keyboard at the same time, lets you undo your last action. I use it mostly when working with design software in situations like this:

In Deborah's artistic head:
What if I move this entire page up here and add some purple sparkles right here and .... oh ....hm. No, that won't work.
Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-Z
Okay, maybe I'll just erase this person's face....hm....maybe not.
Ctrl-Z

My constant use of Ctrl-Z in the workplace has revealed the vital need for it in real life situations like these:
I sewed some curtains, but kept making mistakes and having to rip out stitches. Ctrl-Z

I moved some heavy furniture across the room, only to decide I didn't like it. Ctrl-Z  to save my back.

I nailed some nails into the wall to hang a picture, but kept getting it off balance, and ended up with six holes in the wall. Ctrl-Z

Also, for all those times I watched scary movies. Ctrl-Z  so I can sleep at night.

Or for those situations when you put your foot in your mouth. "When's the baby due? Oh...um....no, I'm not saying you're fat." Ctrl-Z

Or when you're driving along focused on trying to find a radio station that isn't playing Taylor Swift... CRASH!!! Ctrl-Z.

Or heck, maybe you wish you hadn't read this blog post. Ctrl-Z

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Harry Emotions

A few years ago I compared my emotions to Harry Potter's quidditch equipment. If you don't want to read the post, here's the jist: I felt like my emotions were out of control like the bludgers and golden snitch.

I am a highly emotional person. My heart and feelings motivate my thoughts and decisions. This is something that the world simultaneously promotes and discourages. Follow your heart, but use your head.

I have concluded that my younger self felt this way because I allowed external circumstances to dictate my emotions. It's easy to be happy when you're having fun. It's easy to love life when you're getting everything you want. It's easy to be discouraged when you put all your hope in earthly things.

God created us with emotions, but we weren't meant to be controlled by them. Nor were we ever meant to extinguish them. We have to find the balance between following our hearts and using our heads.

This concept is shown in 2 Corinthians 6:11. Here are two different versions of the verse (we English-speakers are so fortunate to have so many versions to study the Bible from):

"Our hearts ache, but we always have joy." NLT
"...sorrowful, yet always rejoicing..." ESV

No matter what external circumstances affect our emotions, we have an inner foundation to rely on. Life will excite us and disappoint us. We can feel the happiness and we can embrace the sadness. Neither time can we let those emotions overshadow the inner joy that comes from knowing Christ.

These days I don't feel like my emotions are bursting out of a box. They're just heavy. I'm not straining to keep them under control. I'm straining to let them run their course as I dig deeper to a more solid and reliable sense of peace and joy.

The world will bring me happiness, frustration, sorrow and everything in between. But the truth I know in Christ is constant. It is my only consistent source of joy.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Football is Back...Again

Sunday afternoons are all about football at our house. I'm not really a fan, but I don't mind it too much. I get to do whatever I want and not feel bad for neglecting Zane.

Last year I was really into Zelda. We brought another TV to the living room so we could watch football and play Zelda, while still spending time together...kind of.

This year, I don't think we'll need to do that. I'm kind of over Ocarina of Time. It's too scary. I can't even stand the thought of going into the Spirit Temple. Ugh...sooooo scary!!! So I guess I won't be completing that game. I'm on a break from Wind Waker, since I got bored from how long it took to travel from island to island, plus there was too many clues to remember.

This year, I'll be focusing more on my book. Yes, I'm attempting a work of fiction (have been for 10 years...how depressing), which I'd like to ultimately publish, but that won't be for a while. I'll let you know when to start looking in bookstores and camp out for my book tour.

Plus there's blogging. There's always blogging.

And reading! Zane and I bought some classics - buy two get one free at Barnes and Noble. I'm also working on some recommendations from friends. AND I recently discovered the young adult section of the library, which was like striking gold. Except that I didn't get rich.

Football season might mean the end of quality time Sunday afternoons, but it's also the beginning of a season of productivity!

Until I decide that naps are more important.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hornet Harvest

We had a pretty sizeable hornet nest hanging from one of the eaves on the back patio. I was able to avoid it easily and figured I'd eventually get wasp spray and kill it.

Then one day, I went around the corner and BAM! There was a HUGE hornet colony about a foot away from the first one. I did not even dare get near that one. I'm talking 20-50 hornets (okay, so maybe like 15-25) covering the honeycomb nest and resting around it.

Finally last night Zane sprayed the nest. The above photo is post killing. When I put Rufio out this morning, I saw there were dead hornets covering the patio floor. I actually felt like a murder for killing their entire family - I wiped out their lineage from the face of the earth.

Here's an example. Does it tug on your heart strings like it did mine?

When I returned from work today. The bodies were gone. All but two bodies were laying on my patio floor. Something or someone ate them. It was either a pack of hungry lizards or this guy:
I need a surveillance camera.

Crooked Vanity Mystery Solved!

Twenty points to Joel Rann who had the closest guess for how we solved our problem with the crooked vanity.

This was the problem:



The answer was in the photo: Vaseline!

I smeared petroleum jelly all over the beadboard. Zane sat on the counter and it slid right into place! Apparently I was too light to be of any use, but Zane's manly massiveness was just the trick.

Tada!

Now I just have to find the time/energy/motivation to fill in the sides. It's looked like this for months, because we've gotten used to it. Yikes! One day, I'll wake up and say, "Ugh, I can't believe I've left the vanity looking so horrible for so long. Today's the day!"

Until then, I'll just wash my hands and walk away.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rufio Goes to the Beach

An excerpt from Rufio's diary:

Dear Diary,

Today I did something new. Usually the padres just leave me at home and all I can think of to do is poop. Today was different! Today they took me to a new place: the beach.

I had never been to the beach before, and since I'm all about new experiences, I was pretty excited.

We were in the car for a long time, so I was happy when we finally got out and started walking to this mysterious beach. After a while, I was getting kind of hot. I mean, I usually just sit around the back porch all day. Even when I do go on walks, we tend to walk in the shade. Conclusion: the beach is hot. I had to get the padre to carry me. 



Finally, we made it to the beach. I couldn't think about my surroundings though. I was too thirsty. The padres forgot to bring me a water bowl! I was kind of ticked off at first, but then they dug a hole in the ground and let me drink out of this plastic bag. It worked okay. I stepped in it and got it all sandy after I drank enough water. I just wanted to show the padres that I deserve better.  



Then they took me to the part of the beach called the ocean. It was actually an inlet, but I let them call it the ocean. I gave it a try, but I didn't really like it too much.


Even though I didn't like it, they made me go in again and again.

Apparently my likes and dislikes aren't important in this family. I need to talk to the padres about this. I'm going to grow up jaded if I don't communicate my feelings properly. My future is at risk. Communication isn't my strong point, though. I'll try pooping tomorrow and see if they get the idea.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

HISMSV - Zion National Park

HISMSV - How I spent my summer vacation

In addition to Carlsbad Caverns, Apache Trail and the Grand Canyon, Zane and I went to Zion National Park.

My favorite part of Zion park - an our entire National Park experience - was the Narrows trail. It's a trail at Zion, which goes through a river!


The water was 68 degrees - cool enough to keep us cool, but not cold enough to be miserable. It was refreshing and added an extra element of danger to the hike. We were at (extremely minimal) risk of a flash flood, where we would have drowned. Ooooh, exciting!


One thing about Zion park is that the walls of the canyon leak water. There's a lot of scientific stuff to say about it, but I just want to say it provided a beautiful waterfall shot for our wedding band hands.

Okay, it also allows for some beautiful hanging gardens to grow:

Zion is one of the places that I want to visit again. There were many trails that we didn't get to do. If you could only do one trail, I definitely recommend the Narrows. I've heard that Angel's Landing is awesome, and there are some trails through slot canyons apparently. Maybe next time I'll be more athletically inclined. Ha.
The other great part about Zion is that we met up with Zane's parents for this part of the trip. We all got to explore the canyon together.

My mother-in-law Vicky was gracious enough to be my videographer for my rock jumping experience in a deeper part of the river. Father-in-law Steve and Zane had already jumped. I was hesistant, but decided that I would regret it if I didn't, so I did!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Happy Hamburger!

Zane and I eat hamburgers more than any other kind of meat.
Hamburgers make us happy.
Cheeseburgers make us happier.

We also like bacon. Zane likes it more than me. In fact, I could probably go the rest of my life without eating bacon. If it's there, I'll eat it. I just won't go out of my way to eat it. Zane does go out of his way to eat it. He's usually the one who fries it up.

Bacon makes him happy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rufio's Turning Japanese

I've heard from many reliable sources (cousin who lives in Japan) that Japanese people tend to fall asleep in moving vehicles. It's culturally acceptable for everyone to sleep on the train, etc. Additionally, my uncle hosted a Japanese girl who fell asleep EVERY time they drove somewhere, even short distances. Just stating the facts.

All this to say, I think Rufio is turning Japanese, I think he's turning Japanese, I really think so.

The day I fell in love with Rufio. Again.


*I was completely stopped at a traffic signal while taking these photos.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Crooked Vanity

This is for all the builders and home improvers out there.

A few months ago, Zane and his dad replaced our hall bathroom vanity. I'll post pictures of that room whenever I finish decorating it...so....never. Just kidding, soon. Maybe.

After Zane and his dad finished the bathroom vanity, Zane and I thought we could tackle the master bathroom vanity. We saw how it was done, and seeing is just as good as doing. Plus, there's the learning-through-experience factor.

Zane and his dad took out the old one before Zane and I did our work. This is the before shot:
Notice the mold. That's why we had to get it out of there.

Then we were left with this:
AHHHHHH! Nasty, nasty, nasty! We put that Lysol to work.

Eventually we got to this:
Through fresh drywall, paint, and primer.

The next part is tricky. See, this is an abnormal space. Most vanities come in 45" and 60" long. This is a 52" space. We chose to purchase a 45" vanity, and fill in the spaces on the side with molding. We did NOT want to purchase a custom countertop. The previous top was bad and broken, so we definitely needed a new one.

We took the formica top from the hall bathroom (which had been replaced with a new one), and cut it down to the right size. I know, we're geniuses...geniusi...together, we are a genius! Times two... 
Here's Zane using his circular saw like a man.

We had some trouble getting the countertop on. On either side of the vanity there is beadboard wainscot. This threw off the measurements, because it limited the space on either side by 1/8". Just enough to give us this problem:
BIG PROBLEM! I can't make myself beautiful on a countertop that's angled all weird. Plus the sink hook-ups were all out of whack - yes, wiggity whack.

Can you guess how we fixed the problem?

First I'll tell you what didn't fix the problem:
1. Deborah sitting on it. 
2. Deborah standing on it. 
3. Jamming it beyond pushing or pulling out. 
4. Using a broom to try to push the corner out. 
5. Tying rope around the entire counter to pull it out.
6. Attempting to pull it out with brute force (I'm majorly lacking that)

So now can you guess how we fixed it? Ten points to the first person who guesses correctly.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

HISMSV - Grand Canyon

HISMSV=How I spent my summer vacation

Before we left on our trip, I described it to people as "We're driving out to the Grand Canyon." We did much more than that, but the Grand Canyon was the most famous landmark that we saw on our trip. It was neither Zane's nor my first time seeing this canyon, but it was our first time seeing it together [cue romantic sigh].

Did you know that out of all the people who visit the Grand Canyon each year, only 10% visit the North Rim? Well, we decided to do both. First we did the South Rim, and it was quite a beautiful place. We hiked the rim trail, which offered beautiful scenic photo opportunities.

Here we are feeling on top of the world:


We felt so on top of the world, that we got a little dangerous and did stuff like this:
And this:

Then we headed up north to the North Rim. Zane took me on the Kaibab Trail, which was when I discovered I am not into hiking canyons. All the hard work is on the second half. I'm more into the work now, enjoy fruits of labor after. However, we did see beautiful sights like this:
The next day, after I had recovered from my severe loss of energy, breath, and joy of hiking, we took a leisurely walk to get this shot:

One great thing about the North Rim, is the lodge and restaurant. The North Rim Lodge is built on the side of the canyon, so if you know your restaurant hostess well (Natalia) and she thinks your name is awesome (Kennedy) then you get seated in one of the sweet-view tables:

I'd recommend visiting the north rim and south rim like we did. We got to see the best of both sides.

Bonus: The Vermillion Cliffs line the north side of the highway from the south to north rim. I didn't know the drive was going to be so beautiful for us:
Talk about feeling small. There is so much bigness out west.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fresh Start September

Monday night I opened my diary to the first page. The entry was from August, 30 2009, a year ago to the day. I skimmed through the last year of entries, and do you know what I discovered? I spent the last year of my life being stressed.

There were lots of stressful things had happened from August 09 to August 10. New jobs, new house, hopes deferred, disappointments. I decided that even if there are sorrowful times, I don't want to spend the next year stressed.

Ecclesiastes 7:3 "Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of face the heart is made glad."

That's a hard verse to understand unless you've felt sorrow, but I think I'm starting to get it. Maturity comes through suffering and sorrow, but not stress. My current prayer is for the Lord to fill me with joy and peace. I'd like him to take away my stress and anxiety. I'll still be in the same body, the same life, and the same circumstances, but I want the Lord to renew my mind and let me see those circumstances through His eyes.

Wednesday was September 1, and it felt good to get rid of August along with a year of stress. I put up my fall decor to help myself feel an outward sense of freshness and renewal. I can't say the last three days have been completely stress-free, but there's hope for peace in Christ.