Moving moving moving… kittens!! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense)

Sooooo basically this entry is a duo. The first picture is my legit phone/instagram cuteness overload pic:

Mama box cat and the baby box kitties! #cutenessoverload #kittens #boxcat #dawww #sodorable

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If you don’t understand why this screams future, we can’t be friends. Just kidding. We can be friends. It means future to me because it’s new life. These cute babies were born last Thursday (3 days old now) in the freezing cold. My family pulled them from under the porch (while holding Mama Box Cat back) and moved them to the enclosed porch area. Now they have a space heater and everything ;)

Each kitten has an entire life ahead of it. Even the runt, who was pushed out on Thursday night, has a chance to grow up. I sat with it and rubbed its back until it squeaked and followed my finger back to the group. Friday, it was pushed out again, but I did the same thing and Mama Box Cat finally accepted it and now all four of the little babies are in a great big wad :D

This second picture is not my own. It was borrowed from my friend, Amy.

Passport to Kenya!

I don’t know if you have noticed my African Children’s Project (ACP) postings lately, but there have been a lot of them. My friend Amy and her husband Jason have been the main source of ACP excitement. This passport represents sooooo much future since they are relocating to Kenya to oversee administrative things and construction on site. Talk about total life change!! They have to sell their house (for sale here), raise support (support them here, I’m doing it), pack their two small kids up and move halfway across the world, then build a house and learn a language. Ummmm future much? Heck, yes!

I love the story of this future though and I’m sooooooo extremely blessed to have my time, energy, thoughts, money, and hopes tied to it. I just couldn’t help but love the story and people! And so here’s the story I love to share:

My friends, Jason and Amy are moving to Kenya. But they aren’t going to take over and run things for people. They are going to invest in the community and help orphans from the AIDS/HIV epidemic find forever families. When they get to Embu, Kenya, Jason and Amy will begin building a two story house, paying the local construction groups to build it. They first floor will be devoted to the orphan families and the Yons (Jason and Amy) will live on the second. The idea is that they will seek out a couple or a mother that is willing to adopt several children, then move them into the first floor, and help them become adjusted and well blended as a family. Next, when the new family is ready, construction on a new house will begin, using local workers again. This house will be just for that family and when finished, that family will move in, leaving the first floor of the Yon house empty. Then Jason and Amy will seek out a new couple or mother and start the entire process over again.

The goal is that the orphans find a family that will allow them to be children and grow up with a future. They will go to school instead of working to keep their siblings alive. They will be loved instead of lost. They will get an entirely different future. Now that’s worth posting about!!

You might wonder what happens after several families come together on site. I did too. My friend Melanie (founder and director of the ACP) told me this: “Oh my! I would LOVE for us to be there!! When that does happen, my hope is that those families will run the site on their own, and allow us to move to a different area and do this all over again. That’s my goal, man. And praise God, we’ll get there.”

You can read Amy’s story here, if you want. It’s pretty amazing. No, really. I get goosebumps from it.

Oh yeah, and Weekly Photo Challenge rocks. Just sayin’. Now here’s a bonus Mama Box Cat photo. Why? Because I love her.

My daisy kitty :)

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Okay, two bonuses. Sheesh.

Box cat. It's her favorite place to sleep :D #kitteh

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It’s a Maize Maze!!! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary)

This week’s challenge is on solitary. Solitary means alone. It also means being at once single and isolated. This other definition is the one I’ve chosen to go with.

My little friend, E, kept running off. She was super excited to be in the maze but when you go around too many turns you become alone, single, isolated. In reality we were only a few cornstalks away, but it didn’t appear that way. She looked alone. She looked lost. She looked isolated. Until we came around the corner. That’s what solitary means to me. Not physically alone, but feeling alone. It is possible to be in a group of many people and yet, by yourself. It’s one of the reasons I started this blog, to remind myself that I am One Not Alone.

Here are more pictures from the maze!! My favorites are the last three :D Continue reading

Oh my stew! (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life)

There’s not much to say about this week’s photo challenge. It’s about Everyday Life. Today’s life includes typing with awkward fingers (taped up with Castor Oil to hopefully remove these nasty infection things… bleh!!), being both rejected and accepted for job interviews, talking to a very nice Sage representative on the phone, eating cookies, and making stew. My pictures are of these last two :)

First the cookie shot!

Then the stew pictures…. if only you could smell it. AHHHHHHH!!! About to go eat some now :D

There you have it. My family’s version of Irish Stew. Potatoes, carrots, onions, a little pinot grigio (all we had around), rosemary and a lot of water. Stew it up for a few hours and oh, the yum factor hurts. Literally. I eat too much every time :)

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Swings of my Life (aka Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things)

This week’s writing challenge is about a few of your favorite things. I have a few favorite things… a book, a bear, a paintbrush, an amazing pair of shoes, a family quilt, but after some thought my choice has to be my swing.

Swings of my Life (aka Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things)

I’ve swung on a front porch swing all my life. Actually, I’m a third generation front porch swinger. My papaw grew up in the house I live in and spent countless hours swinging or rocking on the porch. My dad and his siblings did the same thing. Now, my brothers and I have spent our lives thus far swinging on the front porch.

I can remember three swings total in my lifetime (23 years), but I have no idea how many have hung on this porch over the last 80 years. I wish I did and could tell you all about them, but I don’t so you’ll have to settle for the swings of my life.

The first swing was my Papaw’s. I was 4 or 5 years old from my earliest memory. It was winter time and the porch was huge then. I walked with Papaw through the long winding house and the room that always had the door closed to get to the porch. That room was icy feeling on my feet and usually gave the shivers. We would open the big white front door and walk out on the porch. It had screens all around it… a little room all of our own. The paint was peeling and there were lots of treasures my mom called junk, but my favorite was the swing. It smelled like pennies and old pillows. Papaw would sit down on the cushion first, holding the swing steady, then let me climb up next to him. Our cushion was really just an old blanket, but that didn’t matter to me. I would snuggle up next to his chest, resting partly on his left leg and partly on the scratchy orange pillow I loved, and we would watch a little black and white TV. The screen didn’t come in all the time, but it was ours. It always seemed to be showing Andy Griffith or the news. I liked Andy Griffith best.

In the summer time, we would get a bucket of vanilla ice cream off the back porch, fill our glasses with crushed ice and orange juice, grab two spoons and make our way to that swing. So many happy memories. Continue reading

Dreaming (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit)

For the Weekly Photo Challenge, we were given the phrase “Free Spirit.” What exactly that means, I have no idea. Soooo I asked my brother. His response was “Whuhhhht?!” (Yes, that is the phonetic spelling of the word “what” from too many xbox/mmorpgs game expressions. That or because it’s fun to say “what” that way.) Conclusion: We have no idea what in the world that phrase is suppose to mean.

In the spirit of the unknown phrase, I’m winging it. The interpretation I’m using is dreaming, light exposure, bright image, and motion. Ehhh, let’s throw in some double exposure while we’re at it too :D The idea was to have the image look like a dreamy state, hence dreaming.

Without further ado, the photo:

And because this was fun taking random light exposure pictures and just random pictures in general, some bonuses:

I hope you like them :D

Jig of the Morning in Music (aka Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Blogging)

This is a poem pulled from a post last year. As soon as I read the challenge, I knew this poem was the PERFECT thing to do for sound. It was originally written to music, so an updated version put to music is exactly what this challenge is about.

To hear the poem, press play on the video and follow along below with the voice. You can also watch the video first. It will recite the poem with music and give you a visual of these flowery dancers.

The lyrics/words are below. Continue reading

Urban Flowers (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban)

This was a hard post to find a photo for. I don’t live in an urban area (Walmart and subdivisions are not urban to me), so I’ve pulled one of my pictures from a few years ago when I was living in Wales. My friends and I took a day trip to London on our day off. We did the ride the bus tour. We did the walk for forever tour. We did the take pictures everywhere thing too. The amazing thing about our one day in London was the weather. The temperature was a tad warm, but that’s to be expected in late July. The sky though was breathtaking. Blue, blue, and more blue with little white puffy clouds. GORGEOUS!! I couldn’t ask for a prettier (or more conducive to photography) day than the one we received.

The reason I picked the picture above for the challenge is because urban doesn’t mean concrete and metal to me. My favorite urban places are fully of color and vibrancy. All over London were walls of flowers. Walls of them!! So much green, pink, purple, white, blue and red everywhere. I suppose the people putting up these flowers were compensating for the gray rain that usually surrounds London. And if the flowers combined with the blue sky weren’t enough, we passed countless walls with bright graffiti on them, colorful banners hanging from the sky, and posters of bright adverts. All together, they made a very colorful urban area.

Here are some of my favorite London pictures: Continue reading

Waffle Sandwich (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge)

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This week’s photo challenge is on merge. My first thought was a picture of two people merged together. Then it was kittehs merged together (because, quite frankly, I love kittehs). Then I thought about scenery. One of those old pictures on a new picture of the same thing or winter and summer merged together. Those would all look really cool. Instead I have a picture of waffles.

This waffle sandwich is a merging of waffles, peanut butter, nutella, and covered in syrup.

These waffles were a stroke of genius. And my brother had the stroke. In his words “Soo, I just had a peanut butter and nutella waffle sandwich, with a slight topping of syrup. Needless to say, my flavor palette exploded a few dozen times during its consumption.”

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First he made the waffles. Then added the peanut butter. Continue reading

What went wrong :[ (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong)

This is my late addition to the Weekly Photo Challenge. It’s late because things got busy on Monday and continued into yesterday which led to me not getting home until today. BUT that also means I have a lot to post :D

Brief Update (skip if you don’t care) – Monday was hair chalking with one of my middle school girls from church. We also made a lovely picture on a napkin from Subway that will be shown in a later post. Tuesday (yesterday) was graphic tee day. My friend Dina and I bleached and fabric painted some graphic tees. I seriously underestimated the time it takes to trace, cut and iron freezer paper onto shirts. IT TAKES FOREVER!!!!! But it was completely worth it :) We started the process at 2, which included talking, shopping, tracing, cutting, ironing, painting, bleaching, peeling, washing, freaking, laughing, and ahhhing. Yes, ahhhing is a verb. You’ll see the whole process in a DIY tutorial later. After the tees, we went to Fox & Hound for karaoke night. There was loud singing, some of which wasn’t that bad, and an unusual amount of drunk people. It’s usually pretty calm, but last night had some pretty enthusiastic dancing drinkers. I was thoroughly entertained haha!

Now for what went wrong with in the picture: bleach. It is like liquid power. Everything is fine until it goes to one’s head. Or in this case, smears on one’s shirt. Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth (aka Books on a Shelf)

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This is another weekly photo challenge picture. The challenge was growth. All of the normal thoughts came to me… trees, flowers, other plants, people, babies, animals, height, construction projects… you know, things that can be seen and easily understood. Trees get taller. Flowers bloom. People grow up (and sometimes out). Normal.

Again, I didn’t want to be normal. So I picked books. Some of these books I’ve read dozens of times (the falling apart books: Ella Enchanted, Old Fashioned Girl, Eight Cousins, Rose in Bloom, Mara, and Witch of Blackbird Pond). Those are the ones I grew up with. You could also say Continue reading