.:. in and out of season .:.

.:.normal boremal post.:. January 23, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 7:37 pm

seems to me like it’s getting colder by the minute…but then again I am a chronic under-dresser.

I was laughing today, thinking about how much I’ve been to Starbucks today since our internet is down (and JUST learned today that partners get free wifi – no gift card needed!) Starbucks hopes to be for its customers a “third place” as is #1 = home, #2 = work and #3 = Starbucks.  But if it is both work AND Starbucks, and you come as often as I have been this week, it is both 2 and 3.

Oh boy… nevermind.  That is the dorkiest…….. nevermind.  I am just going to sit here, sip my free drink and enjoy the world wide web.


.:.ohh… //alaska//.:. January 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ellen @ 8:13 pm

img_2438Well, we met with Byron Bruckner on Sunday night to discuss all things and possibilities relating to Alaska, and our possible move there in August or early fall.  


To be quite honest with you – – he spoke our language.  We could have a temporary place to live right when we got there… we could transfer jobs… the education program is great… you can take out a loan that will be paid for you if you teach in a village afterwards… which includes the possibilities of Nome, Kodiak, and Unalakleet.  I could start a coffee shop.  They need someone to take pictures.  They need someone who can work on a website (Nat) and they need mentors to “adopt” a student or two to take out for coffee weekly……….


I felt like if we had talked longer he would have said, “And if you sporadically think about training for a marathon, we could use your help.  Oh, and in case you are wanting a piano… we have a grand piano, uhh, I think it’s a Steinway?  You can have it.”  


SO…  you know, that sounds good.  It sounds, and feels, really, really good at this point.  This is our DREAM… this is OUR dream.  And I think we might just go for it.  I can remember really vividly standing on the rocks near the water in Unalakleet and saying to Nat, “It has been hard, to be here, but it makes me really sad to think we might never see this place again.”  And all the people who told us, “Get married and come back and work here full-time!”  



It’s funny (and a little reassuring) to picture myself just transferring to a Starbucks up there – a TOTALLY different life, but same store, same setup, same job.  

So, that’s “ALASKA” and this is what we are thinking at the moment, and I wanted to document it, and share it.  






.:.scatterings.:. January 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ellen @ 4:12 pm

being newly married means so many conversations.  it means so many small alterations.  changing habits, forming better ones, reworking tones, responses.  it means looking carefully at parents, at other marriages, at examples in books, movies, everywhere… and choosing.  it means drawing closer to some things, and pulling away from others.  it means a lot of words, but sometimes more or less words than usual.  it means speaking that one thing, that deepest part – just saying it, putting it out there, maybe taking a deep breath beforehand, and seeing what comes of it.  it means also saying out loud those bad habits you see in yourself that you’d never admit to someone else, but HAVE to admit, because you know you HAVE to get over them.  That was last night, and this morning I woke up and felt renewed.


I’m going to start baking all of our bread.  Two-three loaves a week, plus a loaf or two of just tasty, non-yeast bread like banana or zucchini or lemon bread.  It will be a good experiment, and I have some great recipes that I’ve never tried for white bread, french bread, etc… which will be good for sandwiches. 

I’m reading Harry Potter… I’m on book four… I’m hooked.


We are in the process of sorting things to be given away… it’s incredible that we can have so much we don’t need, in this space, with only this much time spent living together.  Must keep cycling things in and out, though.  “Clutter-free, clutter-free, clutter-free…….”  [I got a book called “Perfect Order” from the library.  Perfectly inspiring, in this area of life.]

After going through my drawing notebook from the class I took senior year (the class in which I realized so clearly that I should have been an art major.  Or art education.) and spraying them with a permanent matte spray, I have resolved to take another drawing class.  This spring, maybe, or summer.  Or maybe just look for a drawing book, and practice more.  I loved that class.  The teacher pronounced ‘draw’, “drawr” and ‘drawing’ – “drawring.”  I think she was from South Africa. 

That’s it, there is such a good deal on a gym right by our place.  I’m joining it.  

Our new manager at Starbucks wants to start a music program where on Friday nights people would come and play.  He wants to start by showcasing the partners who work at our store first, since a handful of us are musicians, and that has really inspired me to play more and think about what songs I would sing…


Nat has been on a different schedule for the past week  – and will be for two more weeks – where he starts work at 8am instead of 10 and gets off at 4:30, instead of 6:30.  We are trying to decide which we like best.  He is more tired now, because he wakes up  a lot earlier, but we have so much more time in the evening, especially if he is tutoring, to have a long dinner and hang out and get things done together, since I am usually working when he leaves in the morning.  He is talking about looking for a different job. 

We are dreaming of a million things of what we could do next.  Starting in the summer, and then more drastically in August… which sounds mysterious, and it is so, even to us.  Maybe camp for the summer?  And I transfer to the Lake Geneva Starbucks?  


And then a big move in August… Alaska?  Sweden?  California?  Or just a new job for Nat?  At the moment, I am also looking for a regular babysitting job to fill in the hours of the days I am not working.  

I haven’t showered in a few days… and I’ve been wearing the same green hat for all of the hours of all those days.


I kind of hate the weather.  Ahhhhh!  

I hate that I kind of hate the weather!  I want to love the weather!  I love snow, I like winter boots and coats, I like winter sports. 


 I just hate the weather, and driving in it, and starting the car in it… and how uncomfortable, in general, it can be.  And my SKIN.  That is a huge reason why I hate it this year – – – my skin hates the weather.  My hands, due to the dryness, and the sanitizer at work, have bled a little because they cracked so badly.  I have bandaids on at least two of my fingers at all times, and Nat has had to open everything for me lately because my fingertips hurt so bad.  And my lips are all crackly, and my skin feels tight, and it’s just… bad.  No me gusta.  

That being said, the brightness of the sun right now, bouncing off the snow and into our apartment IS glorious, and I can’t deny that it looks beautiful out there. 

He calls to the snow

fall on the earth

And to the rain

be a mighty shower!

So that all men He has made

will know He is

and now…

behold our God.





.:.merry.:.mekko.:. January 8, 2009

Filed under: art,crafting — Ellen @ 4:07 am

After feeling slightly negative about the cold yesterday, which i turned into eager longings for summer – really just negativity under cover – I decided to venture out into the blusters and walk.  Of course, I ended up at the Sweden Shop and spent plenty of time wandering through the rooms carrying various books, trinkets, pretty things around with me, picking up and setting down as I went.  I settled on a book, bought it, and then walked down to Starbucks for a free tea latte with a coupon Nat found in the RedEye.  It was empty, so I got the comfy chair by the window and sat for over an hour pouring over this book, at which point I realized I needed to go back to the Sweden Shop and get some supplies for these beautiful craft ideas!  

So – I did, and thanks to the help of Susan, Kacie and Robin I sewed my very own “artsy clutch” which isn’t finished, but I am very excited about.  I have always loved Marimekko, so the outside is that, and then I cut up a never-used striped dishtowel for the lining, and used leftover pajama pant fabric for the inner-inner lining.  I hand stitched it all – the bobbin is empty on my sewing machine and I haven’t gotten out the manual to learn how to refill it yet – so it looks pretty handmade, and not quite perfect, and that is ok.  I just need to find a big cool button to make the latch.  I’m telling you, for how thrilled I am about learning to sew, it is first stop artsy clutch, next stop entire wardrobe for all of my future children, and your children, too.

 I am dreaming big, homey, homemade, handcrafted, homegrown dreams this winter, and I am learning slowly how to make, craft, and grow (and cook, bake, clean…) one small project at a time.  A thing a day, of sorts.  Yesterday, the clutch.  Today – sweet potato soup with orange juice, basil and tomato, pureed in the blender and served with sweet corn and biscuits.  The soup was a success, and I made so much that we are freezing it in bulk to be eaten every so often.  Tomorrow, a pillow, if I can find a good one for the lining at the thrift store after work.  

Re-learning to be self-motivated consistently throughout the day to keep busy and keep moving and keep learning (hi, i was homeschooled) and that is hard sometimes because I’d rather sit on the computer and “research” everything under the sun and read blogs!  

I wish New Years was celebrated on the first day of spring, or fall, when everything FELT more new.  If I FELT like it was a new beginning I wonder if I’d be further inclined to resolve myself to improvements.  


or is that just the biggest cop out?

well, i need to put some leather gloves on and help Nat pick up the 1-3 inch carpet pile of pine needles in our living room.  



today, i can’t wait for SUMMER January 6, 2009

Filed under: life in general — Ellen @ 4:21 pm

and summer in the city!  with beaches, volleyball, friends around, weddings, trips, biking to work (ok, that’s Spring, too), the sun, camping, CAMP, and the possibility of a verrry long road trip in August.  A verrry long road trip with a final destination.    But first – we need a car with 4 wheel drive!  So, I’m excited for that too!


… ::: * for today, a poem * ::: … January 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ellen @ 10:24 pm

Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me


Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,


what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again


in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,



smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches


and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing


under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,


and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment


my right hand 
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars


and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine! 
the long and wondrous journeys 
still to be ours.


-Mary Oliver, from What Do We Know