.:. in and out of season .:.

:*~ the road to the rudolph ramble ~*: November 30, 2008

Filed under: chicago,goals,running — Ellen @ 5:01 am

sun. 1 mile

mon. 1.2

tues. 1.4

weds. 1.7

thurs. 2 miles

fri. 1.5

sat. 2.5

sun. 2.6

mon. 2.7

tues. 3 miles

weds. 2.5

thurs. 1.5

fri. 3.7

sat. Rest

sun. Race Day!


we shall certainly see…


“rubberducky dependencies” November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ellen @ 7:22 pm

…the title of a a new update available for one of my computer’s applications.  what on earth…?

thanksgiving chapel this morning – very good.  i should not be on the internet right now, but lately am in the mood to type, write, and express, so here i am.  

three things i am grateful for specifically this year, and they are obvious and i say them all the time, and true:


his kindness. his patience with me.  his love for everyone around him.  how carefully he has formulated a budget for us that is well within our means and includes special funds for tithing, dates, travel, and fun money.  how he says “hey beautiful” with relief in his voice whenever i am calling, or when he leaves a message.  i am grateful for how he serves me, helps me, and for how he inspires me to live. i am grateful that we live together now and share everything.  


being home again.  having friends be neighbors and neighbors, friends. 


having a job, and extremely lucky to like it.  i’m grateful for Guy and the humor and hard-working spirits of my coworkers.  i am grateful for health insurance.




Remember God’s bounty in the year.  String the pearls of His favor. 

Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light!  Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! 

~Henry Ward Beecher

happy thanksgiving, friends.




living breathing tornado

Filed under: starbucks — Ellen @ 12:47 am


was me today at work.  it seemed that everything i touched either broke, fell, exploded, spilled or dropped out of my hands.  i dropped customers’ change repeatedly, forgot whether or not they said they wanted cream, thoroughly doused Guy with whipped cream as i walked past him and pushed the handle for no reason, slipped and almost crashed into the pastry case on a spill i had made several minutes earlier… ohhhh man.  people kept telling me i looked pale, and this flu thing did reappear this morning, so i don’t doubt i did look a little pale.  there was nothing to do but laugh, and luckily everyone got a real kick out of my mishap of a morning.  

they also got a REAL kick out of the turkey that i drew on the coffee brewer holding our thanksgiving blend a few days ago, because Guy walked by and said, “hey, that’s a great turkey, can i have you draw a few more?”  so… my turkey was all over the place in our store.  today, wayne says, in this exasperated voice in passing to Devon, “Ok, WHO drew that turkey!?  that is the worst turkey I’ve ever seen.  it has four legs, no wings, no beak, and the feathers do not look like that on a turkey.”  oh we laughed so hard at that one, because he thought for sure it couldn’t have been me and was soo embarrassed and then i pointed out all the other hand-drawn turkeys around us, and they were all equally beak/wing/talent-free.  

so i came home, brought some oatmeal bread over to judy that i baked last night, played the piano at north park for a while, put gas in the car, and am going to lay here in bed until nat comes home.  we are going to dawson for thanksgiving tomorrow, and i am excited for a road trip with new playlists, an old buick, and her:



strolling down memory lane November 19, 2008

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 9:07 pm

at a snail’s pace.  it’s all right, slow and steady has won me another photo book for only the cost of shipping. it is a collection of photos of nat and i that aren’t wedding photos.  from north park, ventana, here, and everywhere in between.  i have loved designing these so much that i think i could do it all day.  if you ever want to buy a photo book but don’t want to go through all of your pictures and arrange them, i will!  

AND…. our wedding-photo-coffee-table-book-of-america is here!  oh my goodness.  it is just perfect in every way, and i will not lie.  i have examined it, front to back, at least 15 times since it came on Monday night.  i see something new every time, and remember something new… and thinking of that day at all always gives me the happiest feeling.  austyn elizabeth ford is beyond talented at photography – i always say this, but her work is like art.  the images are so deep and color-rich and vibrant.  

i went over to the piano practice rooms at north park after a delicious breakfast at tre kronor with judy and stacey, and what do you know – out came a new little song.  just a very little one.  i felt very … sheepish, almost, sitting there at the piano wishing i could just be a “songwriter” in the normal sense that everyone seems to be.  songs are few and far between in my world.  so, to get the feel for it again, i started singing one of my journal entries from a few days ago.  a few phrases stuck out to me in particular, so i kept those, and then added on just a little bit, and there it is.  i want to record it with the piano, violin and the melodica (a tiny keyboard that you blow into through a tube to play.  sounds very french – kind of like an accordian) because it has that slightly unique sound to it that very short songs do sometimes.  i ended up in those practice rooms again after a run in the neighborhood, and i think i will go back again today.  still looking all over craigslist for a piano. i know the perfect one will pop up sometime, and we will hire ourselves a truck and go get it.  i can’t wait.  i will move the papa san chair somewhere else – or to the alley – and there it will sit, for me to play whenever i want.  it sounds like such a luxury to me.

i am now looking up possible allergens that can cause migraine headaches… i’m thinking maybe i’m allergic to soy, a little bit… besides chocolate which i already know gives me headaches sometimes, it’s the only thing i can think of that could be causing these headaches.  had another one today… and i get a vanilla soy latte almost every time i work… so who knows.  i suppose it could be caffeine, too.. but i drink caffeine far more often than i get migraines.  ho hum. 

i’m going to putter and pick up a little bit around here, don my spandos, and hit the pavement. 

and i was thinking earlier this morning that i really miss being “Huck” here:


top of the morning to you. November 17, 2008

Filed under: life in general,Marriage,Nat,newlywed — Ellen @ 3:15 pm

mmmm….. not working this morning.  

once again a headache has gotten me up and out of bed.  if you ever get migraines, you might know how sometimes you want to lay down in the dark with a cold pack, and sometimes you have to get up and move a little.  for me, even if i just move to the couch and sit here, it’s better.  nat is in the shower and my christmas playlist is playing.  friday is at her picture-perfect behavior because she’s been by herself all night, so she’s sweet and needy for affection.  how i picture (dream) of her being when she’s a lazy old cat.  

we went to college life yesterday after i worked all day.  it was wonderful wonderful….. hearing judy speak is always my favorite, because she is a friend, and her words are familiar.  it feels like church that you grew up in.  as a speaker, i am always astounded at the gift God has given her to pass on wisdom, love and truth to people.  she spoke about call and conviction, and about ‘expanding your repertoire of “feeling God” emotions so that it includes conviction.  Correction, discipline, etc…  That when we are in a time where we are just not “feeling God” that perhaps we are too narrow-minded in what that would feel like, because when we feel led to do even the smallest act of kindness, or to not sin – even in the tiniest instance – or when we feel bad about a sin we have committed, that is “feeling God” and it happens a lot.  

‘The Holy Spirit is going to blow where it wills, and it will not always be to lead you into a spirit of worship or contentment or love or to be comfortable, but sometimes it will lead you to guilt and conviction and correction.’

just good stuff.  

i have been going through all of our photos because i’m making a photo album book online, and i have rediscovered some really really great ones like this one on nat’s computer – he wrote “i love you ellen” in the snow while walking alone through campus one night when we were broken up a couple of years ago:



and the first photo ever taken of nat and i:  i can really see the sure signs of a future marriage, can’t you?



and this one, when nat flew in to san francisco from alaska one summer and we took the bus back to chicago together:  



and these ones, which will always go down in history as one of our best dates:




“our memories,” joseph says, “are like a river cut off from the ocean.  with time they will slowly dry out in the sun, and so we drink and drink and drink and we can never have our fill.”    

– dinaw mengestu from “the beautiful things that heaven bears.”


:thursday:november thirteenth: November 13, 2008

it is good beyond good to be back in a place where there are old friends around.  tuesday night potluck/progressive dinners will continue, i hope. 

i am getting so excited for our wedding photo book to come in the mail soon!  i thought it was supposed to be this week, but i looked again, and the processing time is 4-6 days or so, and then shipping takes 4-6 days, so it looks like it will be next week.  

people at work keep saying things like “you like kids? i hate kids.”  “kids are so gross.”  no one i know has ever said the phrase “i hate kids” in my presence before in my life, i don’t think, and i just chuckle… these are some of the nicest people in the world – to other adults exclusively, I guess – and i think, how on EARTH can you hate “kids“?  like they aren’t all different, and have the same weird, “gross” things about them.  this is usually in reference to the kids who come through our Starbucks, who look like adorable little people in designer outdoor brand names, and are usually happy and well behaved.   huh.  my love for children tends to border on obsessive, so i guess it takes all kinds.  i bet someday my coworkers will have babies, and everything will change.  


i miss hanging all of my laundry outside to dry in the mexican sun. the stiffness of my jeans, and how crisp everything felt…


i am working on making a pincushion similar to this one.  don’t remind me that i can’t quite sew yet.  girlfriend is gonna get her a tutor, and will learn.


arms flapping. November 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ellen @ 4:03 pm

This young guy came up to the counter today, half-flapping, half-dancing his arms up and down, I suppose to the “beat” of the jazz piano music playing, and ordered a grande coffee.  I said ok, and would you like to try a sample of our gingersnap latte? [sitting in front of us on a platter].

“NO.  I DON’T LIKE CREAM AND SUGAR IN MY COFFEE.” [arms flapping, head bobbing to the beat.]

“Ok!  Well, that’s all right.  But I will say, the samples are really good.  Are you sure?”


[With a look of amusement] “Ok. Would you like to try a gingersnap latte?”



[With a swagger as he swoops up his coffee and dances away from the counter]