Monday, April 20, 2009

english teatime black tea. [newness]

I have two things to say straight off, one is that it has become obvious through the kind of tea I have favored in my last few posts, and my first inclination of craving as I reach into my full tea drawer that my favorite color of tea is black. Not green, nor red, nor even white--but black. I'm not quite sure what this says about my character, if anything at all, but also I'm not quite ready to find out right now either. So, black tea it is. The second thing that I wanted to say is to excuse myself from over a week of not posting here--but I have a most excellent excuse. Jeremy decided to stay home all week last week, and so from the last Friday that I drove to get him to this morning when I had to drive home from South Carolina without him I spent every spare second of my time in his company. Sine our computer is on the other side of the house from where he was when he was home, naturally I did not see much of it for any length of time.
All that being said I feel I should continue to why I decided to sit down right now and grace my most loyal readers with another post. Two very exciting days fell into my last week, and both of them were properly noted and celebrated. The first, and most important, was Easter Sunday. The day that changed the lives of humans forever over two thousand years ago. I will not go into any sort of homily as to what exactly I mean, for I may be sitting here for quite some time letting the passion I have for my Savior, and what He did for me just flow through my fingertips and into this post. I do, however, encourage you to start a conversation with me anytime about it, for I do love to converse about it all.
On that Sunday, Jeremy and I celebrated first with our congregation through song, the Word, and the Meal, then we celebrated with family. We went over to Jeremy's parent's house and had a lunch which both Christal and I, as well as Jeremy's mother, Anne, contributed. It was nice to give Anne a break from slaving away over food for us all; all she had to do was pop the ham into the oven. It was wonderful being with family, especially Josh and Christal's kids. Children celebrate such holidays with such unharnessed joy that one can't help but stand in their wake and smile. Fellowship with the family extended into the evening with a family soccer game after lunch, at which, of the women, only Mom played--not counting my six year old niece, Eve, who always relishes a good romp around a field. An Easter egg hunt was held on the field for the kids, and many well-filled eggs were found. My nephews, Dimitri and Eden, ran around with their plastic swords during the game, pretending (and sometimes not pretending) to fight each other, and protect the damsels in distress on the sidelines. It was a wonderful afternoon, though I had to leave early because Cael was driving me insane, straining on his leash, yearning for Sorcha (Laurel's dog). Even so, a good time was had by all.
The next very important day last week was my beloved husband's twenty-eighth birthday. On Thursday, April 16th, he aged one more year and I love him all the more for it. I got him a new pipe, a church warden, with a long curved stem, which he liked very much. I also made him a breakfast of chipotle bacon breakfast sandwiches with tomato avocado salsa and we broke our fast very heartily and deliciously that morning. We spent most of his birthday just being with each other which was very nice, and very much needed. On Friday, we had a kind of get together at our house where we cooked out, and spent time with some of our closest friends. It was nice to have company at the house. We were able to spend some time with one of the most wonderful couples we know, Moriah and Jenny Geer-Hardwick, and their adoable daughter, Saya. It was great to spend some time with them, and we hope to do it again quite soon. On Saturday eveing we had yet another get-together for Jeremy's birthday, this time with his family at his parent's house. It was good to see the family again, and spend time in good company, intellectual discussion, and witty humour.
Like I said, I took Jeremy back down to South Carolina this morning and I already miss him tremendously, but I know that the weekend comes, and with it a full two days of his warm embrace. I look forward to it.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

english afternoon tea. [remembering]

Yesterday was a rough day for me. Yet again I had to drive two or so hours down to South Carolina to pick up Jeremy and bring him home, which I usually don't mind because, well, he's coming home, and the last couple weeks I've been able to drive down there during the day. I really don't like driving that much, but especially not at night, nor when it's raining. So when it's raining at night and I have to drive down there I am stressed the entire time.
Yesterday, I went down during the day but it was during that storm that blew through the area. The first part of the trip wasn't that treacherous, it was during a calm and slight sunny part of the storm. While I was driving I was eating apple slices and dipping them in peanut butter as a snack, which is my new favorite, but I couldn't help but pondering upon my stupidity at driving and eating a snack not so conducive to safe driving. I began to think about Ryan, my friend who was killed in a car accident about 40 days ago. I began thinking of her when it was sunny and calm, and I not being as careful as I should be driving--especially after someone close to me was taken that way. I couldn't keep my mind away from the fact that she had so much going for her when she died, and that I am so blessed to still be here--and here I am driving on a busy highway, going 70 miles per hour while precariously steering with my knee as I eat apple slices and lick peanut butter off my fingers. Idiotic? Yes. Thinking about what Ryan was taken from, and what I was risking, I broke down and cried for a good part of the drive. Then the rain and misty weather descended upon the highway again as I drove down the mountain into upstate South Carolina. The kind of weather Ryan had been driving in when she hydroplaned off that early morning road. Continuing to think about her, I hydroplaned myself in some still water on the road. I regained control of the car with no trouble, but that split second of locked tires, and the deep resonating noise that the act of hydroplaning resonates in your car, hit me hard again. I couldn't stop it, nor did I try very hard--but I began to cry again for the loss of my friend.
And as if I hadn't had enough reminder of everything that rainy afternoon, while I was driving through Traveler's Rest, SC, I passed a funeral procession. I felt my loss heavily yesterday, and that sensation comes and goes as I live from day to day. Ryan's was a kindred spirit, and I know I speak for everyone that knew her when I say, her loss is a wound not easily healed. But also, during this holiday that we are in the midst of, as we celebrate life and the gift Jesus Christ bought for us with His blood, I remember that she is free from these earthy bonds and is alive in a way that we here on earth cannot even imagine. I feel that at least during this time, I should celebrate the life that she did have and the part of it in which I was blessed to have.
We are blessed to have the time that we do here in this life, and that we owe to what Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection. Remember why we celebrate this holiday, and believe that He is in control of our lives and at work within our hearts in all that happens to us, joy and sorrow.

I've added a new Song of the Week. I was listening to this song as I drove yesterday, and the lyrics reminded me of Ryan and the way I am feeling about all that has happened.


Monday, April 6, 2009

vanilla black tea. [weekend with my love]

I drove the two hour drive to Townville, South Carolina, on Friday afternoon to retrieve my stone mason husband from the rock pile. When I got there he was up on his scaffolding laying rock about ten or so feet above the ground. He was on a roll so he kept laying for a while, and I went back to the car, rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof, and read The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell for about an hour, basking in the sun and letting the warm breeze play in my hair as it passed through the windows. After a while I walked back behind the house to see how Jeremy was coming. He had already laid another seven or so square feet, including a huge rock that he put on the wall by himself that was probably about 100 pounds. I chided him lovingly for laying that rock by himself, "I'd like to keep you in working order a while longer," I told him playfully. He finished up securing the rock in its place, which required almost a whole bucket of mud, then we went back to the cabin, he showered, we gathered his stuff, and started back home with smiles on our faces, and hands entwined as he drove the two hour trip that always seems shorter when I'm with him, and longer when I'm going to get him.
The weekend was another lazy one, full of movies and a couple meals at Las Cazuelas, but a perfect one because I was with him. I think in the entire weekend we watched seven movies: Tropic Thunder which Jeremy loved and thought I would enjoy more than I did; Crank because Crank 2 is coming out and we both like Jason Statham; Run Fatboy Run with Simon Pegg, another one of our favorites, a hilariously funny and sweet movie--high recommended; Yes Man was a perfectly Jim Carrey movie the way we remember him in The Mask, hilarious; Bedtime Stories was another cute one with Adam Sandler and his typically goofy antics; Doubt was wonderfully filmed and acted, though the closure was nonexistent and the climax was a bit anti-climactic; and finally The Duchess which I had seen before, but wanted to see with Jeremy as well--great costumes, hair, make-up, and Keira Knightley, but an awfully adulterous story--though still worth seeing in my opinion.
We are movie people. And the fact that I get free rentals for working five hours a week at Movie Gallery helps too.
On Saturday we enjoyed the afternoon together with our spaniel, Cael, always at our feet. We grilled out, and I made my delicious honey mustard, avocado, caramelized onion burgers, and also made a bowl of mangoes and pineapple flavored with a honey-lemon glaze and lime zest, as well as grilled asparagus with lemon. Yum. Jeremy helped me prepare everything then when it came time to grill the burgers we both went outside, tied Cael's leash to the house to let him prance around us (though he mostly just ignored me yelling "Cael, don't eat grass!"), and we enjoyed the Spring weather as Jeremy smoked his tobacco pipe and his new Black Currant tobacco, which smells divine. It was a wonderful dinner, as well as wonderfully handsome company.
Another interesting thing we did this weekend was going to look at a couple houses that are on the market. We are thinking about moving out of our current apartment and moving into Black Mountain or Swannanoa, and we decided to look at cheaper houses since it's so frustrating paying rent that goes towards nothing. We'd rather be spending money every month that's actually doing something for us. Anyway, we found this great little house in Swannanoa, and are praying about what God will have us do. Nothing is for sure yet, we are just exploring our options and trying to figure out what happens next. So do pray for us if you think about it.
So all that being said, I had an amazing weekend with my husband and now that he's gone again I miss him already, and hope this week passes by quickly so I can keep myself in his warm embrace for another weekend.
On a closing note, this song has meant a lot to me since Jeremy has been gone as he has: "Set Fire to the Third Bar" by Snow Patrol featuring Martha Wainwright. (I've added a Song of the Week application to my blog, so you can hear the song here this week.) Also, I purchased Snow Patrol's new album A Hundred Million Suns which is quickly becoming another favorite of mine.

Enjoying my tea, but not my husband's absence,


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

scottish breakfast tea. [ch-ch-changes]

It's been a while since my last post and a good many things have happened in my life since then, nothing too grand and life-changing, but those little changes that tend to just make your day brighter. The first thing being that my mom came into town and I was able to spend some quality time with her--she currently lives in Germany, and I rarely get to see her beautiful face in person. We were able to go shopping, go out to eat, check out Asheville's new Barnes and Noble, and also get some hot tub time at my uncle's house. It was wonderful just being in her company, and having the leisure to talk to her about things that don't really matter, as opposed to Skype where we only have a certain amount of time and try to find only important things to talk about.
Another exciting thing about having my mom here last week, was that last Thursday was my twenty-second birthday. She actually flew out that day, but I was able to have a great breakfast with her, as well as my Aunt Susan and cousin, Jenna. The rest of my birthday day consisted of working at Movie Gallery until 4:30, then heading down to Townville, SC with Laurel, my sister-in-law, to see Jeremy and cook dinner for him and the other stone masons living in the cabin with him. It was great getting some time with Laurel on the way down, she and I always have a good time together. Then cooking dinner for four hungry stone masons was a gratifying experience, they all loved the Teriyaki Salmon I cooked, and appreciative grunts could be heard throughout dinner--though I think anything would taste good after being on the rock pile all day.
That night Laurel, Jeremy and I drove back the two or so hours it takes to get back to Montreat, through thick fog and groggy eyes--Jeremy did a great job staying awake, though Laurel and I were a different story.
Friday was mostly a day for Jeremy and I to spend together which is always nice when he's gone all week. We watched Marley & Me which is such a sweet movie. A tear-jerker to be certain, but so so good. That evening Chelsea and Laura came over and we drove down to Hickory, with Rachel and Laurel following us, to eat a birthday dinner (and have a few birthday drinks) at the Olde Hickory Taproom. The Taproom is a great pub/restaurant with great pub food, and plenty of drinks to choose from. It was a great night of family, friends, and my favorite drink--a Black Velvet, Guinness and hard cider--even though our waiter left something to be desired as far as good service.
Saturday was another wonderful day, beginning with teaching a swim lesson at Cheshire, then my writing group, Snippets, at 10. Getting together with those girls never fails to leave me with a smile on my face, and writing ideas in my head. Later in the evening I had a very special appointment (thanks to Chelsea for pretending to be me, and making the call). On Saturday night I got my second and last tattoo. It is one word of script, that I designed, on my left wrist. The word is oidhreacht which means 'heritage' in Gaelic. I really love it, Mark, the tattooist did a great job, and also played the Pogues while he did it. It was great, it wasn't too painful and I was able to watch him do it. Chelsea and Laura came with Jeremy and I and we went and ate afterwards. Chelsea, Laura, and Kelsey all helped pay for a little bit of the tattoo as their birthday present to me, which makes it mean that much more.
Another thing that has changed is my job. I still have the job at Movie Gallery and Cheshire, but only one day a week. My biggest job now is being nanny to a pair of four-month-old twins, Amelia and Marshall. My first full day was yesterday, and it went so well. I was tired by the end of it, and Lord knows that they fussed some, but all in all everything went really well, and I'm really confident in not only my abilities to take care of those two, but also my ability to evetually be a mother myself one day. I'll write more about this job, maybe tomorrow, now I have to run off to work at Movie Gallery until 4:30, then Cheshire at 5 until 9. Hurrah, long day.