Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 30 photo challenge

Day 30 photo challenge: Post a picture of yourself

This was taken at the Wild Goose Festival last weekend in North Carolina.  A group was providing temporary tattoos, so I obtained two with some of my favorite sayings "Peace Be With You" and "And Also With You."  These tattoos kind of represented the festival for me.  I finally relaxed a little bit and experienced some peace after months and months and months of stress and chaos.

(credit to my friend Amy for this picture)

PS: Another new REAL tattoo is in the works.  Details (and pictures) to come soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 29 photo challenge

Day 29 photo challenge: A picture that makes you smile

I just got back from a fantastic festival in North Carolina called Wild Goose (watch for a new post soon about it!).  This festival had the best food carts I have ever seen, including the ostrich burgers food cart.  The first thing I saw upon entering the festival was this inflatable ostrich head. Beautiful.  Love it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 28 photo challenge

Day 28: A picture of something of which you are afraid.

There are a number of things of which I am afraid, among them, heights, worms, centipedes, etc.  However, those things are more understandable.

I am somewhat afraid of quiet, solitude and being alone.  I much prefer being around other people , it is kind of unsettling to be by one's self.  This is probably why I schedule something nearly every second of the day.  But I realize that I need to be way better about taking time for myself.

(Photo from Taize, 2009)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 26 and 27 photo challenge

Day 26: A picture of something that means a lot to you.

My church community means a lot to me.  Never thought I would find a place like that.

(credit to my friend Amy for the photograph)

Day 27: A picture of yourself and a family member

This is my sister Katie.  We were on Mom and Dad's boat last summer at Flathead Lake.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 25 (sorry I missed it yesterday!)

A photo of your day...

After a couple months of installation, the solar panels at my office went live yesterday!  We have a pretty impressive array of solar on both the roof (at left is my boss Tammy and the two solar installers) and the front of the building.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 24 photo challenge

A picture of something you wish you could change.

One thing I feel very passionately about is equal rights for the LGBTQ community.  As an ally, I firmly believe this is THE civil rights issue of my generation and we cannot stop fighting for equality until homophobia, intolerance and bigotry are dead.

Today there was a small victory in California when the gay judge who struck down Prop 8 successfully weathered a challenge to his impartiality.  Amen.  Even though California has a long way to go.

In the meantime, states continue to legalize gay marriage, albeit slowly.  New York announced today that it was one vote away from securing passage of a bill to permit same sex marriage.  I wish we did not have to "legalize" love and commitment between two adults.  In fact, it is really sad.  It is my prayer that one day that we can look back at these years and wonder what we were so afraid of.  In the meantime, you will find me at Denver's PRIDE festival this weekend celebrating with my friends.

Poem written by my friend Richard

Weather Report

Does it seem odd, or is it just me,

that the “Jeopardy” answer is never:

“A president murdered by General Pinochet”,

or that the phrase on Wheel of Fortune

is never: “Where they burn books,

they will ultimately burn people also.”

Or that, 24/7, we can watch tornadoes

sear lives shut across Oklahoma,

machine guns fire across Gaza,

blood leak across dusty blacktop,

fast jeeps chased by faster helicopters

across a desert, or talking heads

declaim about revolutions

they’ve never needed,

their children never maimed,

their parents never disappeared

into dark waters

with hands tied in prayer

behind their backs.

Or, odder still,

me watching it all

as I surf my five hundred channels

with a bowl of popcorn,

so sure I comprehend,

so glad I care,

so frugal with my compassion

that I have enough for the whole world.

-Richard Russeth-

 the original poem appears on Richard's blog here "Weather Report"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 23 photo challenge

Day 23: Post a picture of your favorite book.

From left to right:
It's Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim, Atheist, Jewish Christian by Samir Selmanovic

A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doestoyevski

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

I love so many books, that it is hard to pick just a few.  I have had different favorite books over the course of the years, and this is one of the best representations of my favorites.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 21 and 22 photo challenge

Day 21: Something you wish you could forget

Poverty.  I see it every day.  I wish it didn't exist.  I wish that we as society were better about addressing it instead of ignoring it.  Although I am just as guilty of this as everyone else.

Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at

I wish I was better at being quiet.  At not letting things get to me and at not scheduling every second of the day.

I tried to take on meditation as my Lenten discipline, which lasted fine through Lent, but I sort of fell off the bandwagon.  Trying to get it back.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 19 and 20 Photo Challenge

Day 19: A photo of something unexpected

Working in a food bank, I see all sorts of really interesting donations.  Earlier this week, we had three dozen chocolate cakes donated, yesterday was 200 lbs of potatoes, 800 lbs of frozen chicken, among other things.

Yesterday we received several dozen bouquets of flowers.  Completely impractical for a food bank, aside from the fact that they are beautiful and everyone needs a little bit of beauty.

Completely unexpected, but completely wonderful.

Day 20: A picture of somewhere you'd like to travel

I already posted that I want to visit Thailand, so I would love to travel back to Paris.  I think it would be really wonderful to visit in the autumn or at the holidays.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Day 18 Photo Challenge

A picture of your biggest insecurity.

My biggest insecurity right now is wondering whether or not I have the wherewithal to make it through seminary and into my first call.  I know that I will be just fine with the academic part of seminary (although I know Greek and Hebrew are going to be a challenge, and the sheer perseverance involved in writing lengthy statements of exegesis will test me as well), but it is everything else that is involved.  The meetings and reflection and direction and candidacy and CPE and essay writing and competency panels and the exhaustion of existential questions.  Thank goodness that I have a ton of people praying for me and providing support, because the next three years are going to be a challenge.

(Photo taken at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, 2009)

House for All Sinners and Saints video

This video was produced by the Rocky Mountain Synod, sharing about the church of which I am a part.  (click on the hyperlinked text)

House for All Sinners and Saints

(Photo taken at St. Sulpice Cathedral, Paris, 2009)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day 17 Photo Challenge

A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life lately.

A huge part of my job as a case manager is to qualify people for utilities assistance and counsel them on energy usage and conservation.

This part of my job can be really frustrating because there seems to be a misunderstanding of priorities with regards to paying utility bills.  Nearly all of my clients have cable, smart phones and car payments.  Some of them even have more extraneous expenses.

As a person who has really made an effort to live simply over the years, this frustrates me.  I have a hard time understanding why eliminating extra expenses that you cannot really afford is so difficult if you are at risk of losing your power or even your home. Today I had to explain to someone that it did not really matter if you are going to continue paying your cable bill if the electric company is cutting off your power and you have an eviction notice.  Common sense.  Seriously.

What this means for me is that I have been really conscious about my own energy consumption.  I try to follow all the advice I give my clients because there is nothing I dislike more than a hypocrite.

Here are some of the things I usually tell my clients:
1. Be aware of the concept of phantom energy usage.  Anything that is plugged into the wall draws energy.  If it is not your refrigerator, stove or a medically necessary device, there is no reason for it to be plugged in if you are not expressly using it.

2. The biggest energy hog in the house is a space heater.  Never, ever use them.  Shortly followed by the electric clothes dryer.  Use a drying rack or clothes line.  Plus, if you are paying for laundry, you save money by air drying.

3. Heat should never be above 68 degrees (down to 62 at night), and think hard about if you really need to use AC.  See if opening windows at night with fans and closing everything up during the day would be sufficient.

4. Keep the shades closed when it is hot and winterize when it is cold.  It makes  a difference.

5. Instead of adjusting the environmental temperature, adjust your layering accordingly.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Day 16 Photo Challenge

A picture of someone who inspires you.

 My Grandma Amy.  She was smart, compassionate and accomplished so much as a person and business woman.  I miss her.
My pastor Nadia redefines the idea of what a pastor should be and helps our congregation redefine what a community of faith should be. (Please note that we are all laughing hysterically during our Church's Easter Vigil.  I am on the far left.)

My dear friend Kaija from Augustana.  She is smart, pragmatic and hilarious.  I have gotten into some of my craziest adventures with her.  We met on the very first day of school at Augie on our way to aerobics class and have been inseparable ever since.  We have traveled in Europe, to Montana for Spring Break and spent tons of time in the Black Hills.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day 14 and 15 Photo Challenge

Day 14: A picture of someone you could not imagine your life without

Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die

This is Thailand.  I want to go here.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Day 13 Photo Challenge

A picture of your favorite band or musical group.  Storyhill.  They originated in Bozeman, MT and have gained a cult following.

Storyhill.  My old musical friend who accompanied me in College, on countless trips on I-90 and kept this expatriate Montanan sane while living in the Midwest.  I have too many favorite Storyhill songs to count and I have favorite songs depending on the moment.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

BolderBOULDER 2011 photos

The BolderBOULDER is the largest road race in the country (50,000+ participants), and is a Memorial Day tradition.  This is a really fun race, complete with live entertainment, musical acts, slip and slides and spectators offering everything from marshmallows to bacon to beer.

Below are some photos from the event.

 I just happened to run into my friend Linda at the race Expo.  Out of 50,000+  people!
Finishing the race with my friend Cristina. 

Day Twelve photo challenge

A picture of something you love.

I really love hiking and exploring quiet places in the wilderness.

This photo is from Holden Village.

 This is Wildcat Lake in the Jewel Basin in Montana.
This is Beaver Falls at Sky Ranch in Colorado.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day Eleven Photo Challenge

A picture of something you hate.

There is nothing that I dislike more in this world than grocery shopping.  It is my least favorite household chore (give me a bathroom to clean anyday!).  Even though I make a list, I cannot manage to remember what I need at the store.  Then I get home and realize that I forgot the one crucial ingredient necessary for the delectable recipe that I intended to make, and then I have to go to the store again.  And the vicious cycle continues...