Wednesday, August 11, 2010

my urban garden

This blog has been collecting spam for some time now, but I am being non-commital about starting up posting again.. I sort of would like to start a brand new blog...that represents me a little better these days. But until I make a decision about THAT, I am going to go ahead and post here.

why plants make the best pets:

1.) Plants require minimal attention, i.e., watering once a day or less.
2.) If you take good care of them, plants often will grow fruit, or vegetables. Then you can make a salad.
3.) Plants do not bark or poop.
4.) Plants attract butterflies and birds and other living creatures.
5.) Plants are beautiful to look at, and really good listeners. (just kidding, I don't talk to my plants. I have heard that it's good for them though. but honestly! I don't talk to them.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

moving past the quarter life

Not that long ago I had a conversation with a dear friend about aging. It's true that I am only 27 (she is 28) and we are still relatively young in the grand scheme of things (although if we are talking the grand scheme of insect life, we are VERY old, but in the grand scheme of say, cedar trees we are mere the age of 27 and 28 that is). But, I am talking human life... American humans, and in fact American, single women.

So, the thing is, both of us are idealists. Life from the ages of 22-25 as an idealist is absolute bliss. At least it was for me; simple because I had no attachments, no one to answer to and the world was full of mystery and opportunity. Do I sound overly romantic, and a bit self-centered? Good; that is how life is for an idealist, and I want you to get the picture.

Around the age of 25, things started to change for me a bit...well, they more changed for my friends, which also means they changed for me. Everyone got married. And I don't mean everyone, because clearly, I am not married. (Is it clear?) So anyhow, that changed things a bit, in the way that there were less people to hang out with. Mostly because a lot of married folks forget how to be around people other than their spouses--it's a strange phenomenon, I don't quite understand it. (And I don't entirely blame them.) I am just saying, this is the way I've experienced it for the most part.

So, as an American, single woman (and idealist too!), this whole situation leaves one trying to figure out where their community went and why life is demanding more and more decisions and commitments. I guess there is this whole idea of the quarter life crisis? You've heard of it I'm sure. (And I don't tell you all this without a certain amount of embarrassment.) Well, that is all part of what lead to the conversation I had with my friend.

The crisis is over, and has been over for about a year or two now, but it's definitely taken about that much time to level out. But over the course of that year or so (while the idealism was dying a slow, ugly death), the way I think about life started to change a whole lot. A lot of the entitlement and selfishness started to be exposed. God was gracious in letting that stuff boil to the surface so I could see it for myself. (Let it be known that the boiling process is excruciatingly uncomfortable. Think: lobster in a pot.) It was necessary though, I suppose, if I believe God is all-knowing. Which I do.

So, all that leads to now--the convo about aging, thinking about life differently--less idealistically, planning for the future...navigating, plotting, trusting (God). A man who understood the reality of his own nothingness was Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. I read this quote from Choosing to Love the World this morning. Perhaps it will bring light to what I'm trying to say (much more eloquently than how I've communicated it).

"Dread is an expression of our insecurity in this earthly life, a realization that we are never and can never be completely "sure" in the sense of possessing a definitive and established spiritual status. It means we cannot any longer hope in ourselves, in our wisdom, our virtues, our fidelity. We see to clearly that all that is "ours" is nothing, and can completely fail us. In other words we no longer rely on what we "have," what has been given by our past, what has been required. We are open to God and to His mercy in the inscrutable future and our trust in the emptiness where we will confront unforeseen decisions. Only when we have descended in the dread to the center of our own nothingness, by His grace and His guidance, can we be led by Him, in His own time, to find Him in losing ourselves." --On Contemplation

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I know how to have a good time.

Want to know what is so fun/trippy? Listening to Gregorian Chant on one's i-pod while riding the subway. Really! You should try it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

new environs

I've been wanting to update now for quite awhile. Since moving to Chicago approx. 1.5 months ago, too many changes have probably taken place to even begin to mention. However, I was musing today about how...the flow of jumping into life here has felt unnaturally...natural. Today was probably the first day where I felt a little lost, not geographically (that has happened at least a few times) but in general. I've called so many places home in the past five years or so, it seems my own skin is the only place that really houses me(although, that is not entirely true either). What would it be like to actually...settle in a place? And what does that even mean?

I am fairly crafty...I can "domesticate" a space (just ask my roommate. I have provided our home with much curiously beautiful driftwood :). Finding the neighborhood grocery, a favorite cafe, watching the leaves change and fall off the trees that line the streets...I guess these are all parts of settling in too. Meeting people, with the intention of more than knowing a face and a name. I don't think that settling means the same thing to everyone, of course. I was having coffee with a friend who is making a move to Cleveland (ironically), and I asked her how long she was planning on staying. "Oh, not forever. Three to five years, maybe," she said. I had to laugh out loud because I say the same thing about living in Chicago--anything more than five years would seem like eternity. Is my generation full of commitmentaphobes, or is it just me and my friends? (On a side note, today on Sunday morning with George Stephanopolis, my generation was referred to as Generation O, as in Obama. I def. am all about my generation ushering in our new Pres. but I sort of resent folks changing up my generation's identity every few years. Just saying.)

Anyhow, I don't really know about any of this settling stuff. I hope and pray that I will always be open to going where the Lord leads. I guess that includes being lead to stay.

Monday, September 01, 2008

the suburban wild

I think that I might miss the (if limited) natural wildlife that suburbia offers, once I move to the city. For instance, tonight while taking an evening stroll I happened to catch out of the corner of my eye....a little owl! In a tree, on a treelawn, in Parma. The owner of the tree and his three kids were sitting on the porch, so I called them over to take a look. It was just the most adorable creature I've ever seen. (the kids were almost as excited about it as me) The tree that the owl was perched in actually has some sort of bug or fungus that seems to be doing an awful lot of harm, sadly. I took a leaf sample to try to identify what it may be, to help out the concerned tree-owner.

I live for these fun little nature encounters. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

'che' in emche result of ridiculously small statured individuals procreating over the course of multiple generations

It honestly doesn't bother me much anymore--being short. It's always been difficult buying pants...or shorts, or capri's, or I guess anything one puts on one's legs. So, I've resolved to take it like the champ and learn to sew, so I can at least hem my own pants. (If you don't look too closely, my hems look quite professional.)

Lately though, I've been more and more frustrated at how my feet never touch the ground simultaniously with my back touching the back of a chair/couch/etc while sitting. Honestly, my aging body is starting to get irritated (particularly my lower back). There is just no comfortable and lady-like way to sit when you are 5 feet tall. (Let's be honest, they simply don't make furniture for the vertically challenged. At least not in this country.) My choices therefore, are to sit with feet extended outward (in similar fashion as that crazy clown lady from The Big Comfy Couch), sit cross-legged like I am in preschool, or on the edge of my seat (making me appear jumpy and further aggitating my poor lower back). There are many more complex problems in the world, it's true. This happens to be my cross to bear, and I blame my ancestors entirely. You'll see what I mean.

Gr. Grandma Krisfaluski, or "Babka." Height: 4 ft 10 inches
(In the middle) Gr. Grandpa Betchik; Height: 4 ft 11 inches
Nana Rose Schandik; Height: 5 ft 2 inches
Gr. Grandpa & Grandma Bertuzzi, Heights: 5 ft 5 inches & 4 ft 11
Gr. Grandma Anita Cernoia, or "Nonna." Height: 5 ft 3 inches

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August Shower(s)

This past week, my dear friend Laurie threw me a "missionary shower" tea party at my church, in preparation for my move to Chicago to work with Bridges International. When Laurie first told me of her idea to throw a shower for me, I literally burst into tears. She said that the Lord had told her to do it, and I believe it 100%. Lord knows how I feel after going to 8 zillion wedding and baby showers (as a single person). I am totally undeserving of how I was blessed by this shower on Thursday. Approximately 70 women showed up and enjoyed my favorite foods with me (pie, dark chocolate, tea). Laurie is a perfectionist, and it was perfect...beautiful decorations and delicious food. Many of the women in attendence have really mothered me spiritually in the past several months and years. We've had amazing prayer times and I've learned a whole lot about what it means to trust and serve God, from them.

In the midst of being at the shower, I realized how hard it is for me to accept grace. It's just so foreign to my human nature to accept something that I haven't worked for. So often I wrestle with God when He tries to bless and provide for me--I think I don't deserve it (which I don't). That's His nature though--graceful.

At one point, Laurie had everyone write down cleaning/hospitality/ministry tips for me on notecards. (Since I will be working with international students, my home will be used for hosting/ hospitality quite often--hurray!) Here are a few of my most favorite tips:

"If you pick the best smelling laundry soap, it will make washing the clothes way more fun!"-Annie

"Try to always keep cans of rootbeer in the fridge, and ice cream in the freezer, so on the spur of the moment you can invite someone over for rootbeer floats!"-Sandy

"Make your bed every morning."-Debbie

"NEVER, ever give up on a stain!! Avoid men that wear sport coats with jeans."-Erica

"When you do dishes, pray specifically for family, friends."-Donna

"When going in the fridge, use this motto, "When in doubt, throw it out!"-Julia

"Pray, listen and do whatever God tells you to do. You'll never be sorry you did."-Cindy

"Always check your backseat before you get in your car. ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. NEVER make eye contact with strangers on the street."-Bonnie

"Clean your bathroom regularly."-Emily

"Call my son Christopher. He lives in Chicago, and is VERY CUTE, 26 years old, and as nice as can be!"-Shawana

"Pray to have eternal eyes every day."-Wendy