December 3, 2008
November 30, 2008
Eventually Nash tried to wiggle away from Lindon's persistent grip (after all, there was an electric fence), and Nash's wriggling spooked away the herd.
November 20, 2008
November 18, 2008
November 17, 2008
November 7, 2008
October 30, 2008
However, I must put my political feelings aside to tell you about the best sign of the political season. I haven't seen this sign myself, but it was reported to me by a reliable source (my momma). She saw it while traveling to Pittsburgh to visit my sister.
According to my source, one household north of Pittsburgh has expressed its political fatigue with a yellow sign on which they painted in black letters, "Obama Hates the Steelers."
Regardless of your political leanings, I think we can all find this sign a little humorous.
And in this exhausting political season, laughing is the only alternative to crying.
October 27, 2008
October 19, 2008
October 13, 2008
My next trip to Sam's Club brought intense angst and anxiety as I struggled to find a candy or group of candies that would be suitable for our office. It doesn't seem like it should be a big decision, but picking out candy always turns into a real struggle for me. FINALLY, I settled on the "kiddie mix," a delightful assortment of Tootsie rolls, Jawbreakers, Double Bubble gum, Sweetarts, Now n Laters, Smarties, and Lollipops. I figured 600 pieces would take us a while to finish.
So far the candy has been a hit, but it's taking its toll on my teeth. I am a sucker for jawbreakers, but I cannot suck on jawbreakers. As soon as I feel I have adequately compromised their structural integrity, I start trying to chew on them. It's painful at times, but I can't stop! Just now I crushed a half-finished jaw breaker, pulverizing it with my ailing molars, and grabbed another one. Each time I tell myself I will be more patient with this once. Each time the result is the same, a few minutes of waiting before the cracking begins.
But aside from my poor teeth (a reminder that I probably need a dentist), everyone else seems to love the candy as much as I do. I still get to see the looks of childlike wonder as each person finds their favorite piece. Occasionally I hear a whine when the dish has been picked over and all the "good ones" are gone. And someone has discovered where I keep the surplus, so the favorite piece is never far away.
All told, this has been a good bag of candy, and the opportunities for people watching are well worth a few sore teeth.
But this jawbreaker will be different. This one will last...
October 6, 2008
September 24, 2008
September 14, 2008
September 9, 2008
So know that we are doing well. And more will come later.
And if you can get your hands on Covenant Magazine, check out the student reflection on page 19. It's inspiring.
August 27, 2008
When the office men (meaning everyone in the office but me) approach the dish, they try to nonchalantly pick up a fruit juicy delight as if it's ordinary and mundane. Like a paper clip. But during the 2 seconds it takes to unwrap it (which also takes place at my office because we're not great at multi-tasking here; walking while unwrapping is a bit much), the corners of the unwrapper's mouth invariably creep upward into a small smile. It's as the anticipation of a little treat brings out the inner five-year-old who cannot resist sugar. Once the candy is in the mouth the smile and the inner child disappear, and it's once again business as usual.
But those moments of child-like joy continue to amuse me. They are reason enough to keep the candy dish.
August 25, 2008
My most recent endeavor involves a glass bowl and some high fructose corn syrup delights. Yes, I am going to try to be one of those secretaries with a candy dish. When people walk into the office I want them to be greeted with a smiling face and a bowl of Starbursts. And when the smiling face is absent, they can still have candy.
But there is a small problem. Thus far the only person in the office that I can safely say likes candy is the person with the candy dish on her desk. So in order for my new endeavor to succeed the person with the biggest sweet tooth needs to keep her hands out of the dish. That's a tall order.
So I am going to try this for a while and see how it goes. Perhaps my dish will be a source of joy for all who pass through these doors. Perhaps my work and the fact that the dish is hidden from view by a picture frame will allow me to forget its existence.
August 18, 2008
August 15, 2008
So, first things first. Maine was great. We had a wonderful time with Lindon's family (sans Lonnie, Sara and Coyle; we missed them), and the scenery in Maine is breathtaking. Maine had never been on my list of top places to visit in large part because I expected it to be cold. It is cold, but it's still gorgeous, and the beauty makes it worth facing a little chill. Anytime that pines trees, hills, and ocean are together, it's great. Here are some photos:
August 11, 2008
More to come later.
July 30, 2008
'"Fat" is usually the first insult a girl throws at another girl when she wants to hurt her,' I said; I could remember it happening when I was at school, and witnessing it among the teenagers I used to teach. Nevertheless, I could see that to him, a well-adjusted male, it was utterly bizarre behaviour, like yelling 'thicko!' at Stephen Hawking.
His bemusement at this everyday feature of female existence reminded me how strange and sick the 'fat' insult is. I mean, is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me; but then, you might retort, what do I know about the pressure to be skinny? I'm not in the business of being judged on my looks, what with being a writer and earning my living by using my brain...
I went to the British Book Awards that evening. After the award ceremony I bumped into a woman I hadn't seen for nearly three years. The first thing she said to me? 'You've lost a lot of weight since the last time I saw you!'
'Well,' I said, slightly nonplussed, 'the last time you saw me I'd just had a baby.'
What I felt like saying was, 'I've produced my third child and my sixth novel since I last saw you. Aren't either of those things more important, more interesting, than my size?' But no – my waist looked smaller! Forget the kid and the book: finally, something to celebrate!
Maybe all this seems funny, or trivial, but it's really not. It's about what girls want to be, what they're told they should be, and how they feel about who they are. I've got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don't want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I'd rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before 'thin'. And frankly, I'd rather they didn't give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls. Rant over.
July 23, 2008
1. Lindon is renovating the kitchen. While the end product will be unbelievably awesome, the mess that occupies our house in the meantime is not. Currently our refrigerator is in the sun room, the plates are in the dining room, the silverware is in the living room, the sink is out of commission, and the counter top is long gone. Everything else is covered with dust.
2. Lindon is going to Pennsylvania next week to spend some time with his family and help his dad with some projects around the house. While I am completely supportive of him going, I hate when he goes.
3. Things have changed a bit at the office. For various reasons that are too tedious to explain, one of my favorite attorneys in the entire world will not be practicing law for the next three years (no, this was not his own idea). Instead he will administrate the firm while his former partner, Matt, takes over as the lead partner (or whatever you want to call him; titles are rather arbitrary around here, so sometimes I call myself the Office Princess). Though Mark isn't technically going anywhere, it's sad for me to think that he cannot practice. And though he is a huge encouragement to all of us and eagerly rattles off the reasons why the new situation will be better, there are an awful lot of changes that need to be made: new letterhead, new phone greeting, new voice mail message, new sign on the door, new business cards, and the list goes on.
All of the above-mentioned factors might be manageable on their own, but combined and thrust onto someone who despises change, and the result has been a lot of internal trauma for me - which explains why something as inconsequential as another family's vacation plans made me feel like I was losing the roof over my head.
So for the past week I have been grappling with all this change and working through how I will respond to it. For the most part it's good change, and I can look forward to the positive outcomes - like having a dishwasher for the first time in 2 years. But I still fear the unknown, and for all my progress, I still fall far short of being a Fearless Fowler.
But while I know I have a ways to go, there have been some huge blessings and precious lessons learned through this process. First, I continue to thank the Lord for Lindon's amazing abilities and hard work ethic. Our house looks amazing thanks to his skill. His focus on projects forces him to start and complete them quickly, so our house is full of tangible results rather than good intentions that never materialize.
Second, my zeal for my job as increased. It's no secret that I love my job and think I work for the best attorneys (and administrator) ever. But this week I started coming into work early just because I wanted to. I haven't left work early any days, and I am not earning extra hours for comp time to by spent later. No, I am just going in and getting more work done. When work begins to lessen the pull of my favorite idol (sleep), you know things are changing.
And perhaps most important in all of this has been the reminder that I am not in control, as much as I want to be. I believe there is a God, and He is working out the events in my life for my good, not my happiness. God is there, and He has not forgotten me. He is faithful. It's a simple lesson, but one I need to learn again and again.
I think my time without Lindon will provide me with more opportunities to think about these things and reflect on what I've learned. Since I have no kitchen cabinets, it's not likely I'll forget any time soon.
July 11, 2008
July 8, 2008
Oh, we are also in the process of sending/ emailing our latest update letter. If you haven't received one but would like to, let me know!
June 24, 2008
June 17, 2008
June 15, 2008
All weekend I thought about how Russert's death seems so tragic. A man who loved life and his family dies on Father's Day weekend, just weeks after his only child finishes college. A man who was passionate about democracy and the political process dies during a historic election season. A man of character and integrity goes while so many who could never measure up stick around. My heart aches for his widow, son, father, and the rest of his family.
But I've realized my sadness is not just for the Russert family. It flows to a greater sadness that the world is not as it ought to be. I am sad Russert died, but I am also sad that people die of heart attacks because we are not supposed to die of heart attacks. Our bodies break down because every aspect of our existence is permeated by sin. And while I write this I remember a family member diagnosed last week with breast cancer, and more loved ones come to mind who are dealing with all kinds of ills. So my grief is for one family, but also for man's fallen condition. Our prognosis is not good.
And yet, and yet. I am sad, but I cannot despair. Because just as my grief for one family points to a greater sadness for the reality of sin, so the reality of sin points to the greater reality of a Savior. We do have hope. Our hope is not that we can be better, try harder, and save our own hides; it's that we can never escape sin, so Christ became sin for us. And one day, every tear will be wiped away as what was lost is restored more fully than we can imagine.
My weekend musings (which undoubtedly have spilled into the coming week) bring me round to an old hymn (surprise, surprise) which I think sums up my feelings pretty well. This is that for which I hope. Here are the last two verses to "Ten Thousand by Ten Thousand," written by Henry Allford:
3. O then what raptured greetings
On Canaan’s happy shore;
What knitting severed friendship
Up where partings are no more!
Then eyes with joy shall sparkle,
That brimmed with tears of late;
Orphans no longer fatherless,
Nor widows desolate.
4. Bring near Thy great salvation,
Thou Lamb for sinners slain;
Fill up the roll of Thine elect,
Then take Thy power, and reign;
Appear, Desire of nations,
Thine exiles long for home;
Shoe in the heaven Thy promised sign;
Thou Prince and Savior, come.
June 10, 2008
Enter the Food Blogga.
This blog is run by Susan the Food Blogga (from Rhode Island, hence the phonetic spelling), and her entries includes photos, tips, and, yes, recipes for amazing dishes. Already she has taught me how to clean, prepare, and eat an artichoke. And now I am reading about how to pick fresh apricots and how to make strawberry rhubarb calzones. Amazing! I love the food factoids, stories, and tips. They make me happy.
Chances are I will not make every recipe featured on the website. But it's nice to know that I have another resource besides by beloved cookbooks and treasured cooking magazines. And it's always nice to have another resource for honing my fledgling cooking skills.
Does anyone else have a favorite go-to website for cooking ideas and tips? If so, I would love to hear about it.
May 27, 2008
We welcome any hydrangea tips, and when this baby starts blooming, we'll post photos!
May 15, 2008
He took his last final this afternoon, and now he is free for 3 months. We are both very excited about this. Lindon's personality comes back in full force when he has no schoolwork to occupy his mind. This morning I saw glimpses of what is to come as Lindon followed me around the house as I got ready for work, and he kept talking to me. It's not that he doesn't talk to me when he has schoolwork to do, it's just that he doesn't follow me around to talk to me. And of course Nash followed right behind Lindon. It was cute. It's nice to have my husband back.
Oh, and tonight is the season finale of The Office, one of my favorite TV shows of all time. I am quite excited about that, too.
May 9, 2008
We recently had some family members admit that they never got us a wedding gift (like we remembered). Well, we couldn't allow their consciences to torment them any longer, so we relented to their pleas to let them buy us some cookware. When the box arrived yesterday afternoon, we were excited. The Le Creuset set is cast iron cookware with an enamel finish. It's HEAVY, but so worth it. This stuff is super efficient and heats like a dream. And it will last until Jesus returns, which is an added bonus. I like to think I will be making some corn bread in the oven with my cast iron skillet when the heavens open.
Many of you know that I love to cook, and I think this stuff is going to inspire me. Plus, it came with a cookbook, and I really like new cookbooks. And since these pieces are stove- and oven-safe, most recipes in the cookbook are for one-pot meals. Amazing. The fact that the blue enamel matches our everyday dishes is just icing on the cake.
In other exciting news, there is a new song out on the radio that we think you'll really like. Actually, we think you'd better like it if you want to keep being our friend. Lindon's brother Lonnie co-wrote a song on the album of country singer Bucky Covington. Some of you might remember Bucky from American Idol a few seasons ago. Lonnie's song was released this week as Bucky's newest single. It's called "I'll Walk," and it's steadily making its way up the charts as more stations play it. If you're a country music fan, request this song at your local country station.
May 5, 2008
Our plants are doing really well! The red azaleas are finished blooming, and the pink ones are in full bloom. However, it does appear that something is eating our pink blossoms. I plan on investigating. Eating our pretty flowers will not be tolerated at the Fowler house! The boxwoods are growing more and more every day. The next phase of gardening will be to add a hydrangea bush and try my hand at growing some herbs again this year. I tried rosemary and basil last year, but I killed them both in a matter of weeks. This time around I am going to be a little more cautious.
I will add more photos soon.
1. I got a pair of Chacos. The big news with those was that it was the most money I have ever spent on a pair of shoes. It's not that Chacos are that expensive; it's that I am that cheap. I had to fight through the feelings of guilt at spending what for me was a vast sum of money. I told myself they were a worthwhile purchase and one well-deserved. I won that fight, and I love my new sandals. :)
2. Lindon's parents visited us last week. It's been nearly a year since they made their periodic sweep across the country to visit their kin. We had a wonderful time with them, and it went by too quickly. We are thankful to Barry for helping Lindon move the washing machine to its new location next to the dryer. And we are thankful to ME for discovering that the re-directed pipes were backing up all over the basement floor.
3. Lindon's semester is close to finishing. Classes end on Wednesday, and finals begin shortly thereafter. Please pray for Lindon as he tries to complete the surge of assignments due at the end of the semester. I am so proud of the way that he continues to press on even when he is discouraged or overwhelmed. Many of you know that he doesn't consider school to be his strength, but he is doing so well for himself. Come next Friday, we will be half-way done with our time at Covenant Seminary. Amazing...
4. We just learned that our cousin Krissy Fowler is engaged! No details yet, but we are excited for her. Krissy is the daughter of Lindon's cousins Brian and Lori.
5. Speaking of weddings, less than two months until my brother Andrew marries Carly. I will probably write more about this later, but I am so excited for their wedding and that Carly is going to be part of our family. Yay!
April 25, 2008
April 23, 2008
If you live in St. Louis, you can pick up copies of the newspaper at news stands in University City and the Central West End. It's free. I get mine from the Metro station in the Loop. If you know of other places to pick up copies, please feel free to let me know!
April 18, 2008
Well, today I actually felt a real, live aftershock from a real, live earthquake! The quake happened around 5:15 this morning, and I slept right through it. However, I felt an aftershock at work around 10:15. It wasn't very strong. But it's neat to say I have felt an earthquake.
To read more about it, click here.