Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the sun can come back another day

I woke up to a thunderstorm at 4am this morning, and I wasn't even angry.

I was terrified for a moment; my window was open and it was probably the loudest clap of thunder I've ever heard, so I immediately sprang out of bed and shut the window, because of course that will help keep tornadoes out.

It made me think of being a kid in the summertime. My brothers and I played all over the earth, and most of that earth ended up under my toenails. I remember drawing dirt pictures on the bathtub floor with my toe and watching the water wash them away. And Mom wondered why our water bills were so high. Artistic expression takes time, Mom.

From my front porch, you could look out over the river and see the storm clouds coming. (This makes me sound very Native American living in a tipi - but that's how I tended to live my childhood. Me hungry. Peanut butter sandwich, yes?) And my brother and I would race to see who could take the fastest shower, 1.) because everything is a competition when you're a kid, and 2.) because both of us were sweaty but neither of us wanted to get struck by lightening while in the shower. So it was more of a race against death, I guess. We always won.

That's one reason I don't mind thunderstorms, even when they wake me up at 4am: Because they make me think of playing Monopoly by candle-light when the power went out, and sitting on the porch watching pinkish spindly fingers in the sky. I can smell damp pavement and honeysuckle and remember the way the river turned brown in heavy rains. (Less-romantic fact: Usually it was green. Our part of the river was called the Little Muskingum, which is Native American for "muddy waters." Pretty, huh.)

I also don't mind thunderstorms waking me up at 4am because they make me think of this verse in Job 37: "God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding." Lying in bed early in the morning and being reminded of that is one of the most peaceful and comforting ways to wake up.

Happy first official thunder storm of spring. :)
Sunday, February 26, 2012


We all know how much I love winter. Remember this post? It talks about winter. And how much I love it.

It hasn't really been winter all winter here in Kentucky. That, to me, is a waste of winter.

I left my apartment under a slight flurry yesterday morning, but on my walk I passed these little guys:

I can't resist them.

I love winter, but if it's not going to be winter, I'm ready for summer. I haven't seen my freckles in months (if not YEARS), my bike has been whining about inactivity (and I'm tired of the whimpering), and the apartment complex I'm moving into in April has two pools. Holla.

Bringst es auf.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy Valentine's Day

My Valentine's Day was filled with:

1.) (a.) long conversations about sushi (b.) and plans for sushi outings
2.) a treasure hunt ending in malt, mint, & white chocolate
3.) Sunday afternoon plans, when it's only Tuesday
4.) a small group that puts the "small" in small group, but makes me look forward to Tuesday nights in a very big way

I may not have a "significant other," but I have a few people in my life who are pretty significant, and I love them deeply and am deeply grateful for their love.

raspberry espresso brownies - adapted from here
Happy Valentine's Day. :)
Thursday, February 9, 2012

blame it on the buttercream

Everything was against me.

I didn't have any granulated sugar. (WHAT.)

Then I realized I forgot the bourbon at work. (I bet you don't hear a sentence like that every day.)

Then I was about to run out of gas, so I had to stop at Shell and I didn't even have any Kroger plus points on my card. (My life is terrible.)

Then I realized the recipe for the caramel frosting here needed 4 hours to 1 day to cool, and it was already 7:30 and that is just INSANE. So I had to find another recipe from another trusted source.

Then I burned my caramel and my smoke alarm went off and I gasped through the choking smog to open my windows, turn on my ceiling fans, and disconnect my deafening alarm. (What did we learn here? When the instructions say, "Keep a close eye on the caramel," they are not just being silly.)

Caramel: First batch, pre-"drowning in the swirling river of fog"

Then my feet got cold because it's 30 degrees outside and cold air sinks and my feet are the bottomest part of my body. Therefore: Toes turn to toe-sicles.

Then I realized that over the noise of my heater groaning because of the sudden rush of cold air and the fan on my oven that does nothing but blow hot air in my face, I couldn't hear "LOST," and now I think I've missed something important. Is Ben still the bad guy? I can't keep track.

Then, when frosting the cupcakes, I realized I wasn't going to have enough frosting for all 24 of them. (What did we learn here? When the recipe says, "Make a double batch of icing, because you won't have enough otherwise," they are not just being funny.) But I managed.

They're not this yellow in real life.
Then I started blogging and got tired and now I don't feel like cleaning up.

Scary, dark waters of burnt caramel. Who knows what's down there.
All in all: Chocolate bourbon cupcakes with caramel buttercream frosting = SUCCESS. Seriously so.

based on a true story

Friday, while working some of the often-times mundane tasks of behind-the-scenes church, I suddenly, as though struck with a peppermint wand by the Peppermint Fairy floating with wings of red and white stripes, wanted a peppermint milkshake. It was as strong as the feeling of wanting to live, wanting to breathe, wanting to love someone other than yourself.

So I did the logical thing. I called Chick-fil-A, Baskin Robbins, and Steak & Shake, but all of them replied with, "Peppermint is only during the holidays."

What an awful thing to say. Why would this be? Why would you put such limitations on flavor? Would anybody ever say, "I'm sorry, you can only breathe in April"? "We apologize, but you can only only love before the sun sets"?

And I knew that grocery stores hardly ever sold peppermint. At least, Wal-Mart never did. At least, the Wal-Mart in Wisconsin never did. Only Piggly Wiggly, which Wisconsites call so caressingly, "The Pig."

So I swallowed my Pigless, peppermintless, Kentucky fate and shed a tear, which, unbeknownst to me, the Peppermint Fairy caught in her magical bottle, to do magical things with that I knew not of.

Saturday I went to Kroger, settling like we so often do for the things in life that don't quite measure up to what will make us truly happy. Maybe some Breyer's mint chocolate chip will give me peace of appetite, I thought. And I walked up and down the glass doors of ice cream and wondered which brand of mint was worth it, when suddenly I gasped. Literally gasped. And every part of me froze and melted at the same time.

She'd done it. The Peppermint Fairy had done it, I just knew it. She took my tear in her magic bottle and made it pink and made it fluffy, with specks and chips of candy cane. It was peppermint ice cream, and it was there for the taking by those who knew that Christmas wasn't the only one who loved it.

I love it, too.

3-bowls worth.

Thanks, Peppermint Fairy.

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