In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



Cabin Fever

I know. I'm one to talk, right? Of all the people who should be getting antsy after months of winter it certainly shouldn't be the girl who spent two and a half weeks in Florida.

But there it is.

I can't be terribly low on vitamin D, having gotten a respectable tan during my southern jaunt. Nor did my sojourn make me dislike Minnesota, or even snow. My brothers and I were able to go cross-country skiing for the first time, a week or two ago, and I enjoyed myself immensely.

The man who rented us our gear looked like he had stepped straight from the Yukon... ski-sweater, beard, polite explanations. There was a fresh layer of snow on everything. We figured out how to clamp boots into skis (my skis were blue with pink highlights ;) and eventually how to move along in a relatively smooth manner. It was gorgeous weather and we were soon warm. For a while the ski trail ran along beside the frozen, snowy river. And then coming out of the woods after ski-climbing a bit of a hill I found myself overlooking some of my favorite landscape ever. The ground fell away gently to my right into a snow-filled valley surrounded by tree-covered slopes. More snow fell softly around me. The air was still.

"This is why I love Minnesota." I said. "Can we build a cabin here?"

The U.S. also beat Russia at Hockey that morning, so it was an exciting day for winteriness. (Yes, we went on to lose royally elsewhere, but oh well. I'm glad Canada got the gold if the U.S. couldn't....)

So anyway, winter is fun but it does get long... and whether I can blame it all on cabin fever or not, these days I've been feeling a bit like hibernating till June.

In case any of you feel the same, I thought I'd share some of the things I've been doing to keep busy:

Making pretty things--especially out of neatly folded paper--can be highly soothing and entertaining at the same time. These are paper cranes of course.
'purple burst of paper birds' ~
(Owl City)

And I also made this fun poster of some of my favorite Doctor Who quotes. ;p 
Disclaimer: may contain*Spoilers!* 

Color is important during the dreary winter weather... so new English-looking mugs for 35¢ are a must. Also good British tins, and strong tea. (biscuits and scones go without saying). 

Pretty things and yellow things are extra specially needed. Making yourself pretty can also be important. Having a great hair day is really quite worth the bit of prep the night before; the same goes for sparkly fingernails. Of course it all depends on what gladdens your heart and brightens your days. For instance, I occasionally find great enjoyment in dressing all in black and pretending to be a ninja... you never know. Whatever floats your boat... or allows your spirit to glide serenely over mountainous drifts of snow. Either one....
I also rifle through hand-me-down travel magazines and rip out pictures of Venice... read children's fantasy novels... clean my room... go to basketball games and cheer my heart out... listen to John Mayer... or books on tape... or sermons online... brainstorm story ideas... make lists of what I want to grow in next year's garden...

How about you?

A warm adventure

I've been away visiting friends the past few weeks. In Florida no less. I'm back home again, with a suntan, a pile of shells, and plenty of photo evidence of some warm adventures; but also with some other things that are harder to define. God has a way of teaching me all sorts of new things when I travel. Adventure, by its very nature, is new stuff, and generally includes hard stuff too. And I love that. Much like playing a sport, you could get hurt. And if you're playing with heart, you'll almost certainly be worn out, probably bruised. But you learn stuff.

I love travel. I love flying. I love new places, people, adventures. And God has provided me with several opportunities for such over the past year or two. And He continues to help me through all the little hurdles I run into. There haven't been any major road-blocks or injuries yet; although I have no doubt whatever that He would faithfully carry me over those as well. For now my biggest obstacles look more like fear and pride and forgetfulness. But God is a patient teacher.

And I love learning. Of course learning the right things is a challenge sometimes. But I'm more inspired than ever to study more things and learn more about this world so beautifully shaped by God, author of salvation, of jet-airplanes, and chocolate milk. And literature too; poetry, books, stories.. The Word made flesh--the Story that shapes every story.

And we're storytellers too... so here's another little story of my own:
My visit to Florida
I prepare to leave...
In case you were wondering what I brought with me...
Oh, minus the laptop, which quit and had to be fixed in my absence.

18 day trip -- backpack and purse

...and I see the ocean again

a crafty afternoon...
scrumptious chai
Monet's sailing for inspiration
the sketch
and mine...
a fun evening..
Out to see 'Catching Fire'
with Natalie, Carley, and Lyndsay (behind the camera)

and rainy days..
with seedcake
and tea
in proper-sized mugs

thanks for burying me, friends!
and a glorious day of canoeing~

a gator seen from the airboat ride :) (picture by Lyndsay)

we got to hold an adorable 3-year-old alligator
(photo by Lyndsay again)
tricolored heron
wood stork
boardwalks in the everglades

And the Olympics begin!
We made olympic rings, and flags for the countries with the most contestants,
 plus Great Britain.... 'cause we like them!
and some of the best tacos I've ever put in my mouth~

 above the treetops--a tower about 40 feet in the air--the ocean in the distance
~staying crazy~

mangrove trees

layers of chocolate and nutella-marshmallowy goodness
oh yeah! go Lyndsay!
Our final evening together... walking Atlantic Avenue, and stopping at The Blue Anchor for a bite. A pub that was actually brought from England! And Churchill ate there!

Thanks for the picture Lyndsay!
We walked down to the beach in the dark so I could say goodbye to the Atlantic,
we ran along the sand, let the waves splash our feet... 
and with relative ease, I flew home to 0 degree weather and good old Minnesota snow.