Monday, January 31, 2011
"Celebration is central to all the Spiritual Disciplines. Without a joyful spirit of festivity the Disciplines become dull, death-breathing tools in the hands of modern Pharisees." Richard Foster
Tonight my community group and a handful of other wonderful people will be spending time celebrating. We are all celebrating different things, but most importantly we are taking the time to honor the good in our lives with dancing and feasting. For that I am grateful.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Tonight I was planning to host a fundraiser meal for The SOLD Project. A simple dinner for 12, a time for fabulous company and good food, in hopes of supporting a good cause. Sadly, I was sick today and dinner was canceled. Nonetheless, the plan was to raise funds for The SOLD Project, so I am asking all my readers to consider giving, despite my failure to cook for you.
I heard Cat's story for the first time 2 years ago and I still find it deeply moving, even more so now as she is working to create a life for herself as an orphan. Please consider donating.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Hitting up SCRAP, with three fabulous women. After a pretty rad coffee/brunch at Matching Half. I might have forgotten to eat or get coffee. I was really sleepy.
Finally back at her place I made myself breakfast/lunch at 2 p.m. I might have been starving, and this might have been AMAZING. Two cage free organic eggs fried in butter, served over spinach and gluten free toast, with brie. So freaking fantastic.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
And yes, it is Wednesday and I am thinking about how much I like sleep...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
So first the chocolate sauce
All you need is:
½ cup fair trade cocoa powder (I would recommend Divine, Trader Joe's also sells fair trade cocoa)
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt (I might have skipped measuring, I mean it is such a tiny amount, why measure?? oh, because if you don't you might accidental pour more in, no that wouldn't happen, or did it?)
¼ teaspoon vanilla (of course Laura makes her own, and it is simple: just soak a vanilla bean in vodka. If you need instructions go here.)
Put it in a glass jar and it can store for months in the fridge, but you are about to use some of it for the Kahlua so don't put it away.
The measurements are pretty flexible. Mine was a bit salty, but I love salty and sweet combos so I loved it.
(original recipe found here, it has been edited a bit by me in this post)
Now for the Kahlua making!!!
Grandpa Goode’s Kahlua (original recipe found here)
3 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 oz soluble coffee (we used Via)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
1/5 gallon vodka
Boil the sugar and water. (You are basically making simple syrup.) Add the soluble coffee. We used Via, we also did not use as much as the recipe calls for. It was such a strong roast it come out more than great with only 3/4ish of what the recipe calls for. Stir this until dissolved and let cool.
Once cool add the vanilla extract and the chocolate syrup. You can add the vanilla bean at this point but we didn't.
Because we didn't have one large ontainer we poured the vodka directly into the containers we were going to use with vanilla bean in each bottle.
We than added the coffee syrup concoction that we had just created to the Vodka. Now this was a funny adventure, because it was a lot of guessing. I would say that making it in one container is a better idea, but I was just sold on using these pretty glasses I had sitting around.
Now you have to let it sit for 2 weeks! Shake it every day so that the coffee and sugar don't settle too much. I also shake it every time before I serve it.
It tastes AMAZING with just a bit of cream. It is really my fave.
Monday, January 24, 2011
This is what it means to be heldWith the end of the song I begin to tell my story. As a practice of vulnerability, and honesty, and community building we are all telling our stories and tonight is my night.
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
I love this practice in general: the telling of ones story. I love it because it is the telling of the ongoing work of the Good News of redemption. We are all living the story of redemption and in telling our stories we are telling of God's work.
However, I will admit I do not love the practice in the specific way of me telling my story. I mean I do and I don't. It just always feels so heavy and it feels that I am placing the heaviness on others, expecting them to bear the weight. It is in fact a practice in trust; and I don't trust very well.
Nonetheless, tonight I told my story. I told it and I started it with a cheesy Christian song, because my life is a lesson in learning what it is to be held.
For much of my life I believed, unintentionally, that the promise of God was that I would be safe. If I obeyed God and was a good enough Christian girl: God would protect me. That idea has been stripped from me a thousand times. I have in fact been 'good' but my life has not been safe. My life has not been protected and secure, but I have been held. God, my community, my friends, and my family have held me.
So, tonight I told my story of what it means to be held, and my community held me. They bore the weight of all that I have grieved, and survived, and longed for, and lost, and they laughed with me, and celebrated with me, and lifted up the joys I have experienced.
It is a terribly vulnerable thing to share your story, and it is a profound experience to know you have been held.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I have a dirty little secret to tell you:
I only washed my hair once this week.
I rinsed it, but I skipped washing it. Now, you might think this is because I am secretly lazy. That is not true, okay maybe a little bit true, but it is not the real reason I skipped the shampoo.
What happened is: I saw someone tweet that they were taking the GOOD challenge to give up soap. The tweet reminded me that I had read a few places that you don't need to wash your hair. Supposedly, when you wash your hair, shampoo strips it from its natural oils and that is why you have to condition it. Basically you are undoing what you just did every time you shampoo and condition your hair. The claim is that your body will adjust it's oil production to match your hygiene habits.
Now, lets just be real: shampoo and conditioner cost money. I use community trade organic shampoo and conditioner, so I pay an obnoxious amount of money for my hair care. (When will ethically produced products be more affordable?)
Additionally, washing your hair takes time and uses water. Water is a resource that most of us misuse; it also costs money.
So, you see I am not being lazy; I am being practical. I am saving time and money, and my hair looks shiny and healthy. It is not oily and it doesn't smell bad. The not smelling thing is impressive considering I went on 6 bike rides in the last 48 hours.
I will say I am scared to skip my soap on my body. (Note, the 6 bike rides and the general desire to smell good.) The soaps I have been using for about the past year where made locally and purchased at the farmers market. (They cost more than the drug store, but have lasted longer. I would say the cost difference is negligible.) All this to say I am embarking on a little hygiene experiment in simplicity: I will only wash my hair once a week for the next 4 weeks. If after 4 weeks I decide that my hair really does in fact look gross/limp/unkempt I will go back to every other day, but if it looks good with just a daily rinsing, I am going to save so much money!
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I love the opening scene of this movie, the empty early morning city streets, the quiet solitude of the urban world before it wakes up, and the glamor of the lonely woman that hasn't gone to bed yet. It is over the top romantic and I adore it.
This lovely movie is playing at the Red Vic tonight. Before hand I will be heading over to Off The Grid for some yummy snacks.
Why, yes. I do love Thursday evenings in San Francisco (or really any evening for that matter).
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
All images found on Etsy and can be linked by clicking on the photo, but please don't buy my mugs, before I do. :)
My dearest Lydia moved out this weekend and took her coffee mugs with her. So, now I am forced to begin a little, mildly obsessive, hunt for the perfect mugs to go with the dishes and the look I am working to develop in my kitchen. It has me feeling like I am nesting: really making my apartment a home. In fact between picking out paint colors and new light fixtures, I am really getting excited about maintaining a home, even if it is a rental. Paying attention to all the details that make a Victorian flat hospitable both for the 4 of us that live here and for guests is very rewarding for me. (Who knew the crazy feminist, would be thrilled to spend her weekends figuring out the art of homemaking?)
Anyway, I am really into the mugs above, in fact I kind of want all 4 sets!! (That isn't over kill at all, is it??) However, I am so not sure about paying $15 shipping. (Ugh!) Does anyone know of secret inexpensive vintage places in or around San Francisco? I really would rather buy local.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Chatting with Maggie, Rach and Jaklyn tonight the best question of the evening: why not? (There might have been other words in the question but I am editing because both my mother and grandmother are among my most committed readers.) Nonetheless, edited or not the question rings true: Why not? In response to most questions of weather or not you should take a risk the very valid response is: why not?
Why not, get a new tattoo?
Why not, go to Europe?
Why not, go speed dating?
Why not, try internet dating?
Why not, become a bike commuter?
Why not, pursue the degree you want?
Why not, dance?
Why not, get a pixie hair cut?
Why not, paint your hall way?
Why not, insert question here...
To be honest the three of us all have the advantage of being unmarried women in our twenties, and with that the question rings out all the more, Why not?
Why not, work a job you love?
Why not, try a new hobby or sport?
Why not, commit to something intimidating?
Why not, let your heart break be known?
Why not, risk your heart again?(!)
Why not, take advantage of the fact that no one is dependent upon you and for one brief moment your self-centeredness doesn't have too strong of an impact on anyone?
This will all change, we will someday have people who need us to be responsible, but for right now:
Why not, buy the super cute vintage candy dish, and put actual candy in it?! It isn't going to hurt anyone and I might just learn more about being alive in the process.
(Speaking of candy dishes, my dearest Rachel was in town this weekend and we might have gone shopping and I might have bought a dish like the one in the photo above, and I might love it. Maybe that happened, I mean why shouldn't it have?)
Monday, January 17, 2011
It is a day to be inspired by the lifestyle of leadership that brings about true change in the world.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
My life is kind of hectic sometimes, but I love it.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I turned the corner, paused, took a breath in and stared. Just moments earlier a woman stopped next to me on my bike and asked if I wanted tickets to see the sold out Van Gogh exhibit at the De Young. Without hesitation I said yes, and was soon surrounded by art that rarely leaves the Musee d'Orsay.
I love Post-Impressionist art, I also love Impressionist art, but that turn just at the end is my favorite, and Van Gogh is my absolute favorite. I am not exaggerating, when I am in the presence of his art I find it hard to breath, I loose my words and I am blissfully overwhelmed.
The artists who I find most inspiring are Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo; two very different artist from very different times.
I have expressed my love for Frida before; I love her honesty and how she forces you to feel her suffering. I love it; it is also offensive. She inflicts her agony upon the viewer, and I both love and hate her for that.
However, Van Gogh gives the viewer permission to experience his torment or to ignore it. I can glimpse into the life of an artist, exhausted and troubled or I can see a simple self portrait . I can observe the hallucination of a man losing his mind or I can see stars. I am allowed to choose how I engage with the art. It is no less honest, but it more guarded without being less vulnerable. As Frida forces you to observe her strength, Van Gogh invites you to empathize with his desperation.
I am inspired by the intricate balance of vulnerability without overexposure. There is something breathtaking about the tension of his brush strokes that says so much more than the image itself. You can feel the control in the methodology of his painting as if observing a man clutching to some semblance of sanity with each movement, and if you see the work as it progresses you can watch him loose the control he is trying intently to maintain. His work is better for it, even if it did drive him insane.
Monday, January 10, 2011
In the past few months as I have thought more about hope. I have thought about what it means to believe things are changing, that you are growing, that there is more and better, and that it is worth pursuing. I have held fast to hope and it has held me through the chaos.
I love marking significant things and healing in my life. Alters are prominent throughout the Hebrew Bible and I feel like there is a reason why God continually asked people to mark the moments that they saw God move. These alters reminded them and remind us that in the chaos God was there. I feel like my tattoos are kind of like alters, recognizing what God has done. So I am pondering an anchor tattoo. A symbol of being grounded and connected, being able to hold fast in a storm, a symbol of hope.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Lead me on. Let me stand.
I am tired. I am weak. I am worn.
Through the storm,
Through the night,
Lead me on to the light.
Take my hand, precious Lord,
and lead me home.
This song was sung by slaves: women, men, and children that had been stripped of their freedom, tired, weak and worn from labor and abuse. I am humbled by the strength of these words in light of their original context. I feel unworthy of their prayer; nonetheless, I pray:
Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
As my kitchen filled with guests I had yet to grate the apples for feasting. I handed the grater off to my first guests and they filled the bowl with strips of organic green apple. Soon after I was wringing the apples out with cheese cloth as another guest watched curious about the process. Next thing I knew I passed the bowl off to the lovely Laura and the latkas hit the frying pan. It might not be the best hosting practice to cook with all your guests in the kitchen, but it is fabulously fun for me when I get to invite people into the creative process of cooking.
That was how my first grown up Christmas Eve party went and it was fabulous. I made some amazing apple latkas (I used a gluten free flour substitute, and yes, I know that it sounds more like a Hanuka party, but Jesus was a Jew so it is appropriate) and garlic butter mushrooms. I found the recipes at smitten kitchen and they turned out amazing! My friend Leah brought sweet potato latkas. (She used the corn meal as a gluten-free substitute, you should be aware that it changes the flavor, nonetheless they turned out just deliciously!). I think I will have to make all of it again and not reserve any of it for holidays as everything was just too good to not eat any time I want. After all isn't everyday a good day to eat good food?
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
In the past three years I have been part of 3 amazing staffs; I have grieved; I have experienced God's grace and provision beyond measure; I have been held through profound times of insecurity; I have been broke and homeless; I have experienced love beyond my expectation; and I have experienced more joy than I ever dreamed.
This city has challenged me, loved me, and refined me into a better more whole human being and for that I am grateful.
Cheers to one intense love affair with an amazing city.