Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Hope of Sunday

Last week, a post by Kimberly Coyle asked this question.

What season of the soul are you living in right now?

As it turns out, this spring season has been a true reflection of the season of my soul.

Something is not right.

It is the last week in March and I have woken up to 30-degree weather more times than I care to recount. It is the last week in March and my toenails aren’t painted yet. It is the last week in March and I wore boots instead of flip-flops, and two layers of clothing instead of shorts and a tee shirt. It is the last week in March and my windows have been open only once all month, along with it came a short-lived whisper of the warmer days to come.

Something is not right.

For the past three weeks I have woken up with a warm body next to me. For the past three weeks I have had a lunch companion. For three weeks my boys have been sent off to school and welcomed home by more than my own smiling face. For three weeks I have received kisses throughout the day instead of my usual 5 o’clock morning kiss and my 6 o’clock afternoon kiss. For three weeks my husband has been unemployed.

Something is not right.

Just as I have enjoyed the handful of teasing days in which the temperature has reached beyond 65, I have also been savoring this special time with my beloved by my side. It is a treat we have never enjoyed for more than a few days during his regular vacation time. But as much as I have held on to those warm days and the extra attention of my man, it has been hard.

Something is not right.

I want it to be spring. I want count on it being warm every day. I want Mike to wake up at 5, kiss me goodbye and go to work, come home satisfied.

I want it to be right.

Last night I had trouble sleeping. Rain was pounding my roof and thunder was clapping its electric hands. I thought of a time when the disciples experienced a similar Friday night such as this one. Hope seemed to be lost; uncertainty clouded their faith, the thunder kept them from sleeping. They must have been thinking as I have, “what is going to happen to us now?”

This morning I woke up with new hope. It’s on its way to being 80 degrees, my windows are open, and my flip-flops are on my feet.

As tears still roll down my eyes, and I have no idea how long I will have to stay in this upper room, I rejoice in knowing today what the disciples did not yet understand.

Sunday is coming.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Skirt Madness (my mom would be so proud)

When I’m in the dumps about the fact that I want to be a writer but I’m too afraid to dive into trying to be one, I find a million other things to do. But I’ll narrow it down for you. 

 I shop, I read, or I sew.

Ideally, I should choose one of the later two since the first can get quite expensive. Unfortunately, reading and sewing seem to somehow end up deeply hurting my poor depleted wallet as well.

Reading is expensive. And, no, I do not go to the library because by the time I return books, my late fees pay for me to own them anyway, so why bother?

Sewing requires fabric. I’m horribly indecisive so I end up getting one of each.  I also have an insatiable fabric fetish.

It’s a loose-loose situation. Everything I do costs money.

But, I’ve been itching to start blogging again, and since I have some major writer’s block along with an extra dose of insecurity attached to it, I am here today to share with you the fruits of my pricey labor.

Plus, I’m broke. And my husband just lost his job. My time at the Mall, Old Navy, and Target will have to be replaced with time in front of my computer screen, talking to you. Hi!

I have an obsession with skirts. As summer is quickly approaching North Texas, I have gotten quite gitty about pulling out my simple skirts and wearing them, like, EVERY day! This past year I have, thankfully, managed to loose a few pounds; enough, as a matter of fact, to need a partial overhaul in my closet. Yippee!!

I was trying to be frugal…

It all started when I pulled out my cheep, comfy jersey skirts from Target and took them in so they wouldn’t fall off of me. After I learned that sewing knits was not as tricky as I once thought it to be, I just couldn’t stop, and the shopping, the cutting and sewing began.

Skirt #1 Epic Fail

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I don’t know if you would have noticed had I not told you this, but that skirt is very crooked.  I tried to hem it 3 times. No joke. It is full of flaws and the final product ended up about 3 inches shorter than the first. I finally gave up and left the edges raw (since jersey doesn’t fray anyway). Forget the fact that it isn’t perfect, and slightly too small, the real reason this skirt is going to be the -wear around the house and clean- skirt, is because it is insanely see-through. (Good thing you are not able to witness that detail in these pictures).

take two

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YUCK!   I definitely like the longer version better. oh well...
Sew and learn.

Skirt #2

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Hmm. I can't decide if I like it. It is a little too small and it hangs weird. I think some day I may try to make it a little more narrow at the bottom... I just love the psycho fiery waves.

Skirt #3

Very soft and flow-ey. I like it. I’m starting to get this thing down!

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Skirt #4

This is the skirt I’m going to take to heaven with me.

But, like skirt number one, it was obscenely see-through. I didn’t want to buy a slip because it would totally defeat the purpose of wearing an airy, comfortable, cotton skirt. I ended up having to buy twice as much fabric to make it double layered, no small feat when you are trying to line up all of those stripes. But I did it and it was totally worth it even though it ended up costing me twice as much as should have.

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Skirt #5

This one was made with regular ol’ 100% designer cotton fabric from Anna Maria Horner’s Loulouthi  collection. I love the slight retro look to it.

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When I was a girl my mom made a lot of my clothes until she finally gave up because I convinced her that is was very un-cool to wear homemade clothes. I sure wish she were around to teach me how to sew more than just easy, simple skirts. Homemade clothes are so WAY-cool now. I just know she is in heaven right now chuckling, thinking to herself I told you so.

Let me warn you, the madness has not ended yet. I still have three more in the making, but I promise you, I already have all I need to make them. I will not be spending another penny. I just need more time.

How many skirts does a woman really need in her closet anyway? At least 15, right?

I’m insane, I know, but my mommy sure would be proud of me.


Monday, March 18, 2013

In His Town

He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

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I hope you were able to join me last week when I visited my Home Town. If not, hop back and read along. Then come back for Part Two:


When I want to go back “home” I think of the days I ran down the dunes, sandy wind blowing in my tangled hair. I think of the day I was sunning at school, sitting on the balancing beam during recess next to my bff; life was good that day. I think of the day I danced on my daddy’s toes. I smell fresh bread and fresh roses. My mom always smelled like roses. I taste the exhilarating tartness of a quince, or the smooth sweetness of manjar.

But…I forget.

I tend to forget the day I was groped by a man on the crowded bus, or the day I was followed by a promiscuous stranger. I forget about those nasty sunburns that left blisters all over my body leaving my skin looking like a crocodile’s, and peeling for what seemed like weeks.

I forget about the night I cried myself to sleep because my friend’s indifference pierced my heart and left me feeling alone and abandoned.

I forget that the boy I was in love with for years never gave me the time of day. Or that my Spanish teacher played favorites; I could tell she liked my sisters more than she liked me.

I forget about the day we had to put my dog to sleep, or the sad day my brother left for collage. I forget about the day I found out my granddad had died, or the day I was told my mom was sick.

I forget about the day I missed my best friend's concert because I didn’t pay enough attention to her when she told me where to go. She won first prize that day. And I missed it.

I forget about the boy whose heart I broke.

I forget about the insecurity I felt for being the only girl in my class that could never tan, or about the millions of pimples that overpopulated my back and face. I forget about the days I felt fat, rejected, and like an outsider.

I forget… that my life wasn’t perfect.

I forget.

Because when life gets hard I want to hang on to the joyful, the easy, the good and the perfect.

So, I long for a peach so sweet and juicy I have to eat it bent over.

I long for sand so hot I’m forced to carry a towel with me to give periodic comfort to my burning feet.

I want to see white foamed waves crashing on black, jagged, rocks, and count the hundreds of sea lions catching the noon’s rays.

I long for a Sunday Roast, dusty shoes, and a church with concrete floors, acoustic guitars, and tambourines.

I long for steep hills, bright colored houses, and the sound of seagulls.

When I remember and yearn for the perfect, but then remember the not-so-perfect, I realize that what I have longed for all along is for that eternal home that God is preparing for me. That is what I’m really longing for. The home where there is no fear, no loneliness, no heartbreak, no pain, no tears, the home where we will never be an outsider, where we will always love and always be loved.

In the meantime.... this is where I belong, holding on to the gift of a glimpse of the promised eternity that I am able to peek at every day. I belong Home, in his presence, in his peace, in his joy, feeling his wind in my face as I run, tasting the sweetness if his unconditional love, and feeling his strength as he holds me up when I dance on his toes.

That is where I live now, in His Town. I love this Town, I always will, as long as I remember that he lives in it with me. Still.

Friday, March 8, 2013

In My Town

As a blogger – and I use that term in the loosest way possible; you know that around here you can never sit around waiting for a new post from me- one who wants to inspire, I am always in search of great blogs to read and inspire me.

I like blogs that will guide me towards my next new project that I can create in my craft room, or that will inspire the next new look in my home or in my wardrobe.

I have, however, in recent months, veered more toward a new genre, a deeper, more thought provoking one. In my search I came across what has now become my absolute favorite blog: Find Time for Tea. Kimberly Coyle’s blog has everything that I love to find in a blog. It is beautifully designed, simple and non-presuming; it’s like a peaceful walk on the beach where I can catch every ray of sunshine on my skin and enjoy every grain of sand that oozes through my toes. Refreshing, considering that so many blogs out there have turned into the sensory overload I would expect to find at the Las Vegas Strip. Kimberly is a writer, and she inspires me to think and to be thankful, but mostly, she is always throwing fuel to the burning heart of the writer in me.

Her posts almost always manage to trigger a million runaway thoughts that I spend my day chasing after. Very few times am I actually able to round them up. But today I am going to try.

A few days ago she wrote THIS post. You must read it. I am going to try answer her here today. Perhaps it really isn't an answer at all, but this is where my mind took me. It is a day to reminisce.

I grew up in Viña del Mar, Chile, a large city, for Chilean standards. I have been in many small towns in Chile, and let me tell ya’, Viña del Mar was not one of them. The Greater Metropolitan Area of Viña del Mar and it’s next-door neighbor Valparaiso, plus 3 other surrounding “towns” ads up to over 800 thousand people. Viña’s population is roughly around 300 thousand. During the 1980s, when I lived there, it may have been a slightly lower number, but even so, it was still one of the top 3 Metropolitan areas of Chile.

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This is the view from one of the playground's of my school.

I think, however, that to a child, the numbers, or the size –any way you want to measure it- is probably irrelevant. I lived in the same home for the 12 formative years of my life. I was in Viña from right before starting 1st grade...

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First day of first grade, the headmistress is holding my hand, my mom is the gorgeous one with the groovy pants and awesome 70s hair.

 .....till right after I graduated from High School.

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Graduation day. Me, Marcela and Matias
Villanelo Alto, 633, it’s spongy grass, it’s peach, lemon, plum, and overpopulated fig tree, grape vines, and more rose bushes than you could ever count, it’s dangerous glass encrusted back yard wall, hardwood floors, open windows with it’s sheer curtains that flowed in and out in afternoon breezes of the Indian summer was the biggest and most important part of my town. Its extension was the 8-minute walk to school, and 20-minute bus ride to the beach. One friend one block from school, the other, 3 blocks from her. One friend lived in the next town, and the rest, close enough to all.

My Town smelled of fresh baked bread, salt, fish, and once of week, of burning trash. My Town was filled with palm trees, city buses and hungry people. In my Town the milkman delivered his white goodness in a hand pushed cart. I loved my milkman, Carlos, he was good at spoiling me every now and then by secretly gifting me with some of my favorite flan. A lovely Town it was, indeed.

In my town we put sugar on our corn, toasted wheat on our watermelon, blended bananas into our milk, and ate hot dogs with mayonnaise, tomatoes, and avocado.

In my Town we drank our Coke hot and our water carbonated. We ate our chrimoyas with oranges and called it a “happy chirimoya”; we grated our apples and called it dessert.

In my Town we went to the beach on Christmas Day. Under the hot sun and salty breezes our spare change was spent on anise bread, cuchuflí, or a cute pair of handcrafted earrings or or necklace purchased from a local artisan.

In my Town, the ocean was too dangerous and too cold to swim in, the sand was yellow and course, but felt oh so hot and safe after braving the 5 minutes of torrential, chilling, and exhilarating danger of the Pacific Ocean. In my Town, when I went to sleep at night, I could still feel the receding waves as they fought to get around my steadfast legs. 

In my Town, we squealed when we ran down the sand dunes.


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5th grade. Although you can't see them in the back, this is where we went to play in the sand dunes. Me and Karina.

In my Town Winter break was in July. My sisters and I would fight for the spot in front of the space heater every morning and would stand, jimmies hoisted up to our waist, till our hinnies turned bright pink and we could take the heat no longer.

In my Town we watched the World Cup on portable TVs during school hours.

In my Town downstairs windows were barred and, sometimes, policemen walked around with machine guns.

In my Town there was trash and stray dogs in the streets, hungry children constantly knocking at my front door begging for old bread. Mothers nursed their three year olds in the open as lovers made out on the bench beside.

In my Town, at night we were easily woken up by the moans and groans of the creaking, arthritic bones of the earth.

In my Town we wore uniforms to school, we had chalkboards, and a library the size of a small bedroom. We were home every day by 1:30 and ate lunch with our families.

In my Town we walked everywhere. And although I may not know how many knots were in every tree, I do know there were 69 steps I had to climb every morning to get to my classroom. I could probably recognize every crack in the road from my house to the butcher, the bakery, or Marcela’s house.

In my Town we ate spaghetti on Mondays, and on Fridays, fresh fish handed over right from the hands of the fisherman himself.

In my town everyone’s mom was “aunt” and everyone’s dad was “uncle”.  I drank “té con leche” with them every afternoon. Every greeting had a kiss on the cheek attached to it. A child (and most adults) in my Town enter a home saying “permission”, to which it’s kind owner answers “forward”, as in “come on  in”. Lovely families lived in my town.

In my Town best friends are not so much as thick as thieves as they are like “fingernail and dirt”.

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 My bffs, Marcela, Rocio, me and Paula, December, 1987.
That was my Town.

Was it big? Was it small? I didn’t know. I didn’t care. All I knew was that in my Town my parents loved me and were happy. In my Town I was safe and cared for. In my Town my clothes were always laundered and my house was always clean and I had THE best of friends.

God lived in my Town.

As children, our town is always small, regardless of how big it is. Our little, self-centered minds are probably not capable of going beyond that. I think that the older we get, the larger our town becomes and as our lives become harder than we thought they would be and more complicated than our small town minds could have ever imagined, we long for the simplicity of our childhood and the safe haven of our small town world.

To be continued....