Pacific Northwest Hobbit Life

  • Everyday begins and ends with a cup of tea.
  • Books from the last 2 centuries adorn shelves and surfaces around the house – The oldest and most beloved are kept on shelves with glass doors.
  • Food is enjoyed – preparation, serving, eating – makes the cleaning up worth it.
  • Dessert is delighted in for anything that can be called a special occasion.
  • Bird watching is a daily endeavor.
  • Watching the weather and discussing it is not small talk; it is an important facet of life.
  • Golden hour: right before sunset, when the trees dance in the last of the day’s sunshine, is meant to be openly admired – it is never the same.
  • An open or cast iron fireplace is a necessary part of life.
  • Music happens everyday.
  • This weekend we are planting the potatoes and tomatoes.
  • The Cat is appropriately named after British Pottery (Mine is Denby the Shire Cat).
  • Work boots are as necessary as bare feet on a sunny afternoon.
  • We work hard so that we can play hard and rest well.

You’ll have to stop by sometime and see for yourself… I really do live in the Shire.

 

Goodbye 2015

>Deferred Hope = God at workIsn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…

– C.S. Lewis

This has been more true for me in 2015 than any other year.

It began with passion, adventure, hope of love, and the Proverbs to guide me.

Corporate America hired me! Learning skills and paying bills took a prominent role for the year. God’s faithful provision in those 40 hours a week made it challenging to be content and disciplined every day (I am still working on this… maybe I always will).

I found Love like I have never known because I became an Aunt. With prayer and joy, we welcomed my nephew, Seph. The delight of our family heart.

I wandered the Oxford streets and English country side. Explored Cambridge and the Cotswalds where my heart began to dream again.

Hope deferred makes the heartsick; my “Say Anything” man dismissed me in Willoughby-like manner ( except with much better morals), leaving my Jo March self feeling shockingly like Marianne Dashwood. Heartache moved in and tried to setup house.

Momentary light affliction breeds contempt or gratitude; In His mercy my response was a humbled thankful heart.

The Psalms, Madeleine L’Engle, Catherine Marshall, and Kate DiCamillo have been working together to mend my heart, bringing tears, light, and laughter on this leg of the journey.

Stories end, hearts change, and the Word of the Lord endures.

Goodbye 2015, “I would not wish you back again.” ~ Yet another Jane Austinism.

Today, January 1, 2016, my heart is strong because my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus.

Oxford Never Gets Old

Ancient spires holding centuries of wisdom and knowledge with dusty books and growing ideas…
IMG_1537Faith, science, and reason take walks together in the proudly manicured parks and quads – benefitting from the perspective of each other.

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It forever will be a place for dreams to come true. Where time stands still and magic is realized in stone, bronze, and ink.

We shall meet again… I can feel it! 
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And of course the little Hobbit size places just right for someone such as myself!

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P.s. It doesn’t GET old – it is always old… and always NEW at the same time!

Megabus… meant for small wallets… literally.

The rough distance between Cambridge and Oxford is 84 miles.

The trip on a bus takes around 2 hours.

The price of that bus ticket through Megabus.co.uk can be found for 3 Pounds Sterling!

Thats LESS than 5 U.S. Dollars! (I pay 5$ most days to commute to and from work.)

Megabus is an insanely cool bus system that runs throughout the UK. You have to be clever about booking; the more advance the more likely you are to be able to grab a seat so inexpensively. Also check your city because only certain cities go to certain places.

The ONLY down size and my recommendation: USE the restroom BEFORE you get on the bus and not for the usual reasons one might think of in avoiding public restrooms. But rather I must tell you a technical truth here – the Toilets are made for people with no more than a size 6 MAYBE a size 8 hiney! Seriously, when they were making buses in the 80’s-90’s the average British behind must have been VERY small. That being suggested = GO MegaBUS!

“London: Underconstruction”

BEWARE London in Tourist Season

They need a poster in the airport that says “London: Underconstruction”

And another one that says BEWARE Tourists!!! EVERYWHERE!!!

(I make an exception for myself since even though I was rolling my bag, wearing a backpack, and doing ALL of the touristy things immediately – such as getting cash just so I can use the Loo in Victoria Station and get a coffee – you know the essentials.)

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After figuring out which tube I needed to take and when I needed to be where, I paid my 50p and used the Loo (Public Restrooms) to freshen up and change my clothes, then I had to get away from the quickly awakening hub in Victoria Station.

I walked in the direction of the Apollo Theater – Home to London’s Broadway show of WICKED. (Which I HIGHLY recommend seeing. My sister and I saw it there 6 years ago. So great!) Just beyond the theatre, I found a street map and walked in the direction of Westminister Cathedral. 2 streets later the tourists had disappeared and I found a magical place – Upper Tachbrook Street. Go there! My first stop was a little Italian deli where an Italian man served me a beautiful cappuccino with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

I continued down the street to find there is a wonderful local market. I tasted the best falafel I have EVER had and bought fresh and inexpensive fruit for the next leg of my journey. I then spent the rest of my time wandering past the shops and market stands that were just setting up. Absolutely PERFECT way to refresh from travelling.

Emma Watson, Feminism, and Faith

emma watson UNEmma Watson, the brilliant, young British actress who we fondly know as Hermione from Harry Potter has won the hearts of people around the globe once more. hermione gRather than winning us over with the studious perfectionism of the faithful and fictitious friend, she stood in the doorway of the world and won our hearts again, this time as herself with the confident compassion of a young woman who wants freedom and equality for men and women everywhere.

With her opening Speech to the UN, she took the United Nations  and the rest of us by the hand and lead us to a better understanding of a the cultural misconception of feminism.

I agree feminism is often said synonymously with man-hating. This is always a bad thing. Watson, thankfully, pointed out that it by definition certainly is not!

Definition: fem·i·nism
ˈfeməˌnizəm/
noun
noun: feminism
“The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men”

By definition, I most certainly agree with this feminism Watson speaks of. We are created different and equal. My absolute favorite part of her speech was her acceptance and encouragement of gender. The recognition and need for equality is absolutely necessary, but not at the cost of negating how God made us.

Just recently I was told at work by an off-handed conversation, “The sooner you give up your preconceived gender ideas, you’ll be a happier person.” (This statement was full of so many imposed thoughts and presupposed ideas, I hardly knew how to respond.) My response was to politely and firmly say, “I like being a woman.” That was the end of our conversation.

Watson’s call for action should echo in the hearts of Believers around the world. As Christians we know the Truth that we are made in the image of God, male and female. Too often Christians have used gender to condemn, control, or demean, when that in no way represents what God had in mind. As Sons and Daughters of God we have the same possibility for power, strength, beauty, and wisdom living inside of each one of us. Women and Men are created with the same purpose as God’s people meant to do good!

I agree with Watson, I want to see a better world in my lifetime with equal opportunities for all of God’s people around the world. It starts with you and me treating one another with Truth – Man and Woman – God created us. Now lets act like it. man and woman holding hand

Sometimes… I Just Need a Man!

I am a very self-sufficient person.   I know the difference between an allen, hex, and flathead. I bar-b-que enough to have the hair singed off my knuckles most of the summer – And I know how to tell if my meat is medium or well-done.   I wash Windows AND run Windows and MACwindowmac I have an xBox, Gamecube, GameBoy, and Sega Genesis.   I mow the lawn and weed eat the black berries…. with my very own husqavarna weedeater, that uses a 50:1 blend of gas blend.   I like wearing eye-liner and keeping my nails polished. 1943-rosie-rescue-4sep Turbotax and I have been friends for 10 years. I have a weakness for silver charms and a healthy love affair with my shoes.   I wake up singing old hymns – love music of all sorts – and my guilty pleasure Pandora stations are devoted to Josh Turner & Maroon 5. I prefer letters over phone calls and don’t take an offense if you take a day to text me back. I’m even learning to knit and play the piano.   Finally, I make acceptable biscuits, good pie, and fantastic muffins.

With all of these things going for me… you’d think I’d be perfectly fine on my own… however, there is something to be said about have a good looking man around.   They reveal a different aspect about who God is. “Male and Female… He created Them… In His Image.” *Genesis 1:27  

Together, we reflect the fulness of our Creator… thats why, sometimes, I need a man! manwoman ALSO… its really nice to have a man around to open stubborn pickle jars, reach the top shelf, empty the rat trap, go to the dump, advise me to not buy that random purchase, restock the woodpile, and then tell me that my hair smells nice 🙂

My Expertise… Delight in the Moment

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I can claim to be an expert on very few things.

However, I am an expert at delighting in the quiet moment surrounding the tradition of tea and coffee – especially when a good book, a well crafted mug, and a cute cookie are keeping me company.

International Philosopher and Apologist Ravi Zacharias refers to afternoon tea as a “Need-love” – it is a form of love that we need to fulfill in order to function properly.

I happen to agree with him. (I switch-hit between coffee and tea.)

Christmas time is a good chance for you to practice… after all – the only way you’ll become an expert is if you practice!

Try something new! Be brave and actually stop in the flow of your busy day and have a good cup of tea or coffee – not on the go, or working, or study – but while doing something leisurely. Enjoy!

Colorful Cubicles… Beyond the Office Monotony

Cubicle life can seem like this…

 

 

 

 

 

Some people seem to try a little too hard to add color to their life…

 

(Not to mention the great use of office supplies.)

 

 

 

 

I recently described having an office job like rolling a rock around and hoping money comes out.

However, there is much good that comes from rolling rocks around. Especially if you are getting paid for it.

The ocean rolls rocks around and they become polished and beautiful. That is a free analogy for you to interpret. 

Be encouraged. Your seemingly monotonous job is actually doing something. Even if you can’t see it today.

Be faithful. I’msure you’ll figure out how to make your world more colorful and interesting without wasting a thousand post its.

(For my British friends – I am not talking about this kind of cubicle. Even though I do like the colors.)