October 31, 2011

A gem, isn't it?!
The Commons.
It's a treasure trove, I tell you.

Happy Halloween everyone!

ps...I'm filling my Zune up with lots of new podcasts to listen to on my trip. Any suggestions? What do you love to listen to?

October 28, 2011

I miss writing

(taken in DC back in August when the fam was here)

The worst part about not having my computer (yes, I'm still whining about this) is not having photos. No taking them and playing with them in Photoshop. No uploading them to Flickr. No looking at them (which I do, often). It's been hard, and it's only been a few days.

I realize that I don't need my computer to enjoy life. I don't have to have my camera attached to me at all times. But when it's the habit, it sure it hard to break. And when writing and photography are my main creative outlets, I guess I didn't realize how much not having them would affect me. Wow. I just miss writing.

In the plans for the next 3 months....

Buy a journal for the particular purpose of recording as much as I can. Writing daily. Keeping it simple, but effective to show how I'm learning, growing, thinking, planning. I love, love, love having a new journal to fill for a particular time period in life or a "this subject only" journal, too. I'm already mentally planning pages and layouts for it and what I want to be sure to record. It's ridiculous how giddy it makes me.

Maybe take some video. I've been wanting to make a little compilation video lately. Get back to my college major again. A good song and some good footage. Something that will represent what life is like where I am in life right now.

Live a little more in the moment. Make plans at the last minute. Change plane tickets. Go on an unexpected trip. Stop planning so much and just live.

October 27, 2011


From the moment I heard saw this on Friday, I knew it was going to be an instant favorite and constantly on repeat. Much like Yellow, Fix You and about 15 other songs of theirs. There is just something about Chris Martin's voice....

Computer update: My computer is toast. Dead. Ka-put. Yeah. Not great timing. Thankfully, I have everything backed up. Annoyingly, posting is extra tough. No photos. Sorry, everyone. Don't know when (or if) I'll be back up and running before the great 3 months begins.

October 26, 2011

I seem to be cursed in the computer department lately. Not only is the internet still being psycho temperamental, but now I have a virus. A bad one. Like it won't open programs and has made my virus protection not work either. Grrr. So frustrating.

And my computer technician (other wise known as my kind and patient brother) lives in Utah. That's a bit to far away to call for a house call. Double grrrr. Maybe I should call the Nerd Herd....

And then Pinterest has been acting crazy lately. Won't pin things. Won't open pins. Anyone else having this problem? I wouldn't be surprised if you say no with the way things have been going.

So, I'll post for a quick second before I leave work. Just because I have wanted to, but haven't been able to.

First up: have you been watching The Amazing Race this season? My roommate and I are smitten with the snowboarders Andy and Tommy. They are the cutest, sweetest, kindest boys. And then this Sunday's episode they were talking about how much they love Jesus (you can read part of it here). Heart melting. And they were saying, as they were at a temple in Thailand, "this is beautiful, but there is only one true God and we worship him alone." I know! It gives me chills when I see people proclaiming their faith out loud on TV for everyone to hear.

You should watch. It's a great season and the places the teams have been going have been crazy/amazing. You can still see all the episodes online.

Um...what else....
Well, Halloween is just about here. Can't wait! It's my favorite holiday here at camp. We get to hand out candy to our neighborhood kids. It's so fun because so many of the kids come to camp during the summer. Love it!

Finished Night last night. It really was so horribly sad. Depressing. Hard to read. I can't even imagine living through the horrors that he did. I'm sure those stories will haunt me forever.

Inspired by this post on Elsie's blog, I've been experimenting with oatmeal. My favorite so far has been mixing in a bit of all natural peanut butter and putting a spoonful of Bonne Maman cherry preserves on top. Oh, my gosh. It's divine.
This morning I mashed up a half of a banana and mixed it in with the oatmeal while it was cooking, along with some Craisins and tiny bit of agave. It's was quite tasty as well.

AND She and Him have new CD's out this week. Yesssss. Two of my all time faves in one week! She and Him's new one is a Christmas album and it's only five bucks on Amazon right now. Sa-weet.

And that's about it.
See you again when the computer decides to play nice again.

Cottage Girl

October 24, 2011


Was reading this book last night.

Anyway, I was struck by how very dark and hopeless it seemed. Now, yes, I know that the Holocaust isn't a happy subject. I know it's one of the darkest times (if not the) of the 1900's. But it wasn't the subject matter.

I was so very sad for Elie, and it wasn't because of the horrors that were forced upon him. Those were awful. It was because of the way that he felt God had abandoned him. He was hopeless, even that God would ever even exist for him again. I'm curious, but not excited to see how the story ends.

It got me thinking about one of my very favorite books, which also happens to be about the Holocaust.

Amazingly, a sad story as well. Death, pain, destruction. But, also, so much hope. In fact, I have read this one several times and each time I'm reminded how hope-filled this story is. What an amazing difference it is to be a child of the King and to be loved by Him. The circumstances were equally as horrible, but how beautiful the story of hope and love and redemption. Jesus doesn't necessarily change our circumstances in life, but He does give us hope and love. Much more necessary than air, it seems at times. A hand to hold. Someone to take care of us. A perfect, holy, omniscient God.

Have you read either? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts, too.

October 23, 2011


Read this quote tonight and just had to share.

Don't know about you, but I need that constant reminder to live with a kingdom mindset. I constantly have to stop and remind myself to hold my life with open hands. Everything is a gift from my Abba Father.

October 22, 2011

Selfish wants

I so very much want:

To write a post, but the internet won't work. Grumble. Grumble.

An iphone. I need to stop obsessing over it.

To have unlimited funds to travel. I hate having to tell people I can't come see them just because of ticket prices.

A pair of boots for the winter.

To spend all day Saturday being lazy with an old friend. Oh, wait! I get to do exactly that!

Signing off on my hobbit sized phone keyboard,

Cottage Girl

October 20, 2011

cabbages, cabbages, yum, yum, yum

At the apple orchard a few weekends ago, we stumbled upon some cabbages as well.

The first thing I thought of was....wow, that looks just like a Cabbage Patch Kids patch.
Am I a child of the 80's or what?

I so remember the mad rush at toy stores to nab one of those prized dolls.
People would trample each other and get in fights.

I also remember the Christmas I got one.
Glee. Joy. Giggling. Screaming.
Snuggling with that treasured doll.

Those were the happy memories that instantly came back the moment I snapped that photo of a silly little cabbage.

ps...did anyone else have the Cabbage Patch kids cassette tape/record? My sister and I wore that things out. I still remember all the songs. And I know my sister is now singing along with every one of those videos. Aren't you, sis?

October 19, 2011


Doing a post of randomness today. Inspired by PW.

1. We had a flock of Monarch butterflies come through a few weeks ago.

2. They are crazy/amazing up close.

3. Today was the kind of day that required Buffy episode Pangs.

4. More accurately, the fall weather makes me want to watch that Thanksgiving episode.

5. Pretty much every year. Tonight it was half-watched while making dinner.

6. The beach on the first few episodes of Lost makes me homesick, but I've never been there. It's so pretty that it hurts. Ever feel like that before?

7. The internet is playing a bit nicer tonight.

8. I made my mom's meatloaf tonight with mac'n'cheese.

9. It makes me feel like I'm in elementary school again with braids in my hair.

10. I wore braids in my hair 3 days ago.

11. I can't get over the dots on the Monarch's bodies. So incredibly intricate and delicate and beautiful.

12. Small things like that make me super excited for heaven. If God can make something so beautiful on earth, imagine what that perfect place will be like...

13. A sweet friend in coming into town this weekend. Just a quick visit, but, by golly, I'm super excited.

14. We laugh a lot together. We get each other. Friends like that don't come along every day.

15. Nighty-night.

16. Off to bind off my knitting project.

October 18, 2011

Thank goodness

Thank goodness there is no Urban Outfitters around here.

If there was I would spend way too much $$ on things like this....

A Fantastic Mr. Fox sweater,
that for some reason I just love even though it's totally not my style.

This bracelet is absolutely fantastic.

Gulp...that jacket.

The Antoinette Fainting sofa
in the most perfect yellow? Yes please.

I also love these fringe boots and this Abraham Lincoln mug.

There are dozens of other things, but the internet is still achingly slow. It's taken me over 45 minutes just to post this. One day, maybe I'll have an actual internet connection. One day....

October 17, 2011

Annoying and decisions

(from The Commons)

The intreeenet has been all kinds of annoying and difficult the last few days. I have photos to share, but can't upload them. And I couldn't even get it to connect long enough to post. Grrrr....Argh. So forgive the absence, please, oh please?!

We are enjoying very fine weather here. Truly. As much as I loath Fall because of the impending doom of Winter that is on its tail, I do love these beautiful days. The color in the leaves. The cool nights with windows open. It's so lovely.

This week involves lots of planning and prep and some airplane ticket purchasing. Super excited about that! I have 2 more working weeks before I have to try and entertain myself for 3 months. Looking at this end of my sabbatical, I wonder if I'll be bored out of my gourd by the end of week one. I don't ever, and I mean ever, have long stretches of time with nothing to do. A day? Yes. A week? Maybe once a year for vacation. But 3 months? It's kinda intimidating. I don't want to waste it. And I don't want to be completely consumed with myself either.

Decisions, decisions. I'm happy to have a long line of friends and family who have graciously asked (begged) me come and stay and visit them (be a nanny). I'm more than happy to be able to say yes to many of them. I can't wait to go and be the friend/family that I haven't been able to be with my crazy camp life. It feels like a huge gift to be able to do that with each of them.

Anyone else have exciting plans this week?

***when I saw that photo on The Commons, I instantly knew I had been there. That clock is so distinctive.

October 14, 2011

(old player piano scrolls. taken at an antique shop a few weeks ago)

It's Friday.

Unfortunately, this particular Friday is just the beginning of another working weekend for me.

Not only that, but I came down with a cold, all of the sudden.


So, instead of be-moaning a sick/working weekend, let's look at some fun things, shall we?!

Like a Pin board full of projects to try:
I've been pinning like crazy this week. Way too much time on Pinterest....oops.

Or this cute video....

Seriously. How adorable is that?! Gotta admit that I still get super excited to go to Disney. It never gets old to me.

This dress from Anya on Project Runway. She's my pick to win.

Pretending I'm on a vacation in Hawaii by watching season 1 of Lost again. Sometimes I just need to see those mountains and waves.
(side note: I forgot how good Lost was back then. If only it ended as cool as it began....)

There we go. Even I feel a little bit better.

Never mind...

October 12, 2011

missing you

Anyone else already desperately missing summer?

Dear Old Man Winter,
Please let your stay be brief this year.
And if you don't want to bring your old friends Snow, Wind and Ice...
I'd totally be okay with that.


Your reluctant acquaintance
Cottage Girl

October 11, 2011


I'm OCD sometimes.
When I get something in my head, I completely obsess over it.
At the moment, it's knitting.
This is the way it usually goes with knitting for me.
I don't want to have anything to do with it.
My yarn and needles will sit on the shelf for months and months.
Then something will click, and I won't be able to put it down.
I started a new project on Sunday and have spent all my free minutes knitting away.

So tonight, I have errands to run.
Getting my oil changed being one of them.
Of course, I threw my yarn in my purse (btw: I'm loving having a big purse right now).
I might have a few minutes to finish a few rows while waiting.
Then I have to go back to the store to get more yarn because I didn't find enough of this type to finish this project.

Other current obsessions:

iphones (Sprint has them now. Uh-oh)

Revenge (Favorite new show this season by far. And it kinda weirds me out how many people are on that show that have been on other shows I like.)

The Good Wife (almost done with season 2. I'm totally addicted)

This song has been on repeat today.

New Fall clothes. (I'm usually pretty good about buying clothes. But the fact that I'll be living a life outside of these 23 acres this winter and not wearing camp clothes everyday has me reconsidering everything I own. I usually wear jeans, a camp t-shirt and sweatshirt everyday. Not gonna work if I'm out in the real world)

Are you OCD too?
If so, what are you obsessing about lately?

October 10, 2011

spotted on the road

This weekend, the road was kinda like the the Twilight Zone. I was out and about running errands, going to church, living life as it were. And for some reason several things stood out to me.

1. I saw the Delorean that lives on the peninsula. I caught a photo of it once (above). It's embarrassing how excited I get when I see it. Sightings usually involve screaming. I mean, it's a Delorean! How can you not?!

2. A Lamborghini just like this one...

....pulled up next to me at a red light. There was a young woman, probably younger than me driving it, if you were curious. Unfortunately, expensive sports cars aren't that uncommon around here. I think they are so ridiculous.

3. There was a 2 mile back-up on the back roads to church because of the Renaissance Festival. People take that thing seriously, you guys. The weather was probably the most perfect Fall day in the history of the world. It appears that everyone in the tri-state area decided to go to the Ren Fest that day. Thankfully, I was leaving church, having gone to the early service. I'm sure everyone was late getting to the late service though. Renaissance Festival on the same street as your church = amazing (when you want to go) / awful (when everyone else wants to).

4. I spotted a LU sticker on someone's car. I get ridiculously excited when I see one. I want to go along side of them and wave and nod and hear their LU stories. I don't see them very often at all, it being a small (relatively) Christian university and all.

5. Not 1, but TWO speed traps on my short drive to church. Thankfully, I was playing it safe and staying well within the law at the time. Whew.

6. I can't even believe I'm typing this, but I seriously saw, with my own two eyes, a giant garland/streamer/bunting/whatever you want to call it of bras. Yes, bras. Strung together clasp by clasp, several feet long. Along the railing of a bridge. No joke. It took me a while to figure out what it was. And apparently the state highway people were called to take it down. It was pretty crazy. Bright, colorful, polka dotted and stripped bras lining the railings of a 4 lane highway bridge. Yeah.

Weird, Twilighty Zoney. Yet, cool at the same time.

October 09, 2011


Homemade sushi
a Cottage full of friends
an evening spent laughing and chatting instead of blogging.

A perfectly, lovely way to end a relaxing weekend.

October 08, 2011


I found 2 new delicious treats for the cold winter months.

I don't know how they did it, but it really does taste like vanilla and caramel. An off the wall choice for me, but I really love it.

This is sinfully delicious. After reading the packaging (does anyone else do that constantly in the grocery store?) on multiple types, I realized how very little chocolate was in most "hot chocolates." Lots of dried milk and corn syrup. Gross. This one was actually chocolate and other ingredients I could pronounce. And it's beyond yummy. Maybe cause you make it with milk, but still. Oh, my deliciousness.

Random question: Do you sweeten your tea or do you like it straight? I like a hint of sweet. Agave is my favorite.

October 06, 2011


I'm gonna tell you a little story. One that I haven't shared here yet, but those of you that live life side by side with me, well, you'll already know it. I feel like something must be said here though because it may change things on this ol' blog here for a while.

A little over a year ago, I started feeling overwhelmed with life. Just doing normal day to day things here at camp was hard. And not just hard like "it's a tough day and I can't wait until it's tomorrow" hard, but "how in the world am I going to make it through another day." I had never been this frustrated with my camp life like I was then. I dreaded everything. Everything felt overwhelming and hard. The littlest things seemed to set me off. And I wasn't liking the person I was. I didn't want to be around myself.

In October of last year, the Lord dropped the most amazing blessing in my life. One that had a totally different outcome than what I was expecting. My two bestest college pals and I had a girls weekend. It was glorious. I was away from camp. I was living my own life. I was having a personal life, something I had begun to wonder if it even existed.

One of the last nights I was there, my girls sat me down and had a good long talk with me. I love them so much not only because they make me laugh and we have so much fun together, but because they are never afraid to ask me the really hard questions. They are blunt. They love me and want the best for me and I trust them because of that. I feel safe with them and can open my heart even when it's hard and I end up crying, which I did. I explained to them all the things I had been feeling. I began to realize how trapped I had been feeling. How exhausted. How burnt out. How done I was.

Their advice was so wise. Something I see now, more than I did a year ago. Take a break, they said. Get away. Don't let this steal your joy. Don't let it ruin you. Get away and find out if this is really where God still wants you. We know it will be hard. We know you will do your best to talk yourself out of it. We know that you will think you are letting other people down. But you have to. You just have to. We are looking at this from the outside and seeing things you don't.

I promised them I would pray about it. And I did. I also talked to several other near and dear people and asked for their wise council. I asked them to look from their point of view and tell me what they saw. (Sometimes it's hard to judge reality when you are so wrapped up in yourself, isn't it?) It was quite a time of soul searching and prayer. God was gracious and patient with me. And He guided me lovingly.

At the end of this month, I will be stepping away from camp for 3 months. It's not a bad thing. I'm not losing my job here, nor do I want to. I'm not walking away forever. I'm not burning bridges and running. It's a 3 month sabbatical. And I'm blessed to the heavens that after almost 11 years of being here full time, I can do this. I'm super excited to see what the Lord has for me.

What will I be doing? Well, there are so many things. Traveling to see friends. Going to see family. Having fun. Reading. Sleeping. Writing. Doing. Being. Most importantly, I will be spending lots of time in the Word, talking to the Lord, seeking Him. Three whole months. I don't even really know what that means. I do know that I don't want to waste it. I want to come back refreshed and renewed. And I want to stop being so "me" focused and absorbed.

As for my little bloggy-blog, well, I don't own a laptop. That presents a quite a predicament in the area of posting. (I won't be living in The Cottage for those 3 months) In a way, I think the lack of computer time will be good for me. In fact, I know it will. On the other, I will miss writing so desperately. And all my photos? Oh, that just makes me sad. Photography is one thing that I'd love to spend more time doing and learning. But at this time, it looks like things will be hit or miss here for November, December and January. Don't get me wrong. I will jump on when I find a computer to borrow. I will. But now you'll know why I'm in and out.

So, there's my little story. One of woe and heartache and joy and adventure all rolled into one. I'm excited for what's coming. I hope you'll come along and join me because the best adventures are those that are shared.


Cottage Girl

October 05, 2011

Apple picking day Pt. 2

Just a few more.
Hope you don't mind.

Little hands full of giant apples are just too cute to resist.

Photographic proof that I attended this little shindig as well.

She kept grabbing them and taking HUGE bites.
If we didn't watch close enough, she'd even get the bruised, bug infested ones off the ground.
Little apple muncher.

Apple orchards really are lovely.
Those long rows of short trees with pops of red everywhere.
I'd love to do a trash the dress session here.

It was a delicious treat of a day.
Next year, let's hope for sunshine and blue skies, shall we?

October 04, 2011

Apple picking day Pt. 1

It wasn't the perfect fall day we were hoping for. In fact, it was misty, cold and grey. But we still had a grand ol' time. Here's a peak....

More tomorrow.

Post Script: I'm loving wide angle shots at the moment. And grey days sure do make for some pretty beautiful colors in photos.

October 03, 2011

whilst in the dentist chair

I went to the dentist today. I was sitting in the dentist chair waiting for him to come in. The fancy new chairs at his fancy new office all have flat screen TV's hooked up to the individual chairs. Fancy, fancy.
Well, I had to wait for a few minutes, and it just so happened that Ken Burn's new documentary Prohibition was playing on PBS. It took me a few minutes to figure out what it was. I was just captured by all the photos and video from the 20's.

That whole era is fascinating to me. The clothes especially.

How cool are those dresses? And those scarves on their heads. And their hats. And the shoes. And the socks with the dress shoes. That's style is back apparently, too.

And this photo, which just made me laugh. Now those are some puffed sleeves, Anne Shirley.

Prohibition is still running on PBS. You can watch it online too. It was fascinating to see how the Christians/church was influential in getting the law passed. And the how politicized the whole thing was with the war too. I learned a ton just from the 10 minutes I saw in the chair this morning.

***Side note: the hygienist came in while I was glued to the TV and changed the channel. I was like "what?!" Then she said, "Is that better? Or would rather what was on before?" To which I quickly answered "What was on before is great." I think she thought that The Today Show was more likely to interest a woman of my age and means, I suppose. But no thank you, mam. I'll take a documentary over just about anything.

October 02, 2011

thought for the night

(found on Pinterest, but no source was named)

And in song form....

October 01, 2011

lost and found

I had a lovely day, despite the rain and mist and bone chilling (ok, it was only about 48 degrees, but still) cold that has enveloped the land around me. I'll have apple orchard photos to share soon. It wasn't the day that we were all hoping for, but even a miserable weather day shared with friends is still a day to treasure just because of their company.

On a totally different topic, Grey's Anatomy was full of great music on this week's episode. The song below immediately captured me. I was listening so intently to the song, that I had to go back and re-watch the moments again so I could figure out what was going on in the story.

Turn it up nice and loud and enjoy. I'm on my 4th repeat listen in a row at the moment.

Anyone else still watch Grey's? I watched up until season 3, I think, and then quit. Then I got hooked again around season 6.