Monday, July 30, 2012

Coincidence, I Think NOT!

So I am a religious person.
There are many reasons for this.
I know, it might sound cheesy or just odd.
I went to a Christian camp exactly five years ago for one week and I experienced something so fulfilling I went back every year after that.
Here are some things that have happened since then that are the only words I can share, like testimony, to describe to you how these events have affected my life.

1) I felt God in a song for the first time. A throng of people my age--and not my age--rushed together in songs and claps and harmony. We didn't know eachother, not really, but we sang as one voice. The lyrics didn't matter. We could have been singing about bubble gum--we might have been singing about bubble gum. And that made no difference. I saw the faces around me and they saw me--and for that moment we called each other family without saying a single word.

2) These not really coincidences: I built a deck every year at camp. This is a coincidence because there are so many things you can do at camp, but every year I was given deck. So one year I put on the finishing touches. I laid down the last of the floor boards. I sanded and I tainted. The next year I started a deck. I dug the post holes and watched the structure rise over the course of one week. I walked on its surface even--the total five feet that we had finished. The next year I happened upon a deck that looked nearly just as I had left last year's deck. And a week later I left it in the shape of the previous year's deck. The last year...I got no deck. I worked on a campsite and built camp fire pits and cleared roads and made benches out of logs, but I made no structures by houses with power tools and nails. But! My little brother Lantern went to camp for the first time...and guess what?
He built a deck.

3) I am not going to camp this year for I am too old. I was thinking of trying for a job at camp, but it just didn't work out. Then I got a call from a lady at church asking if I was interested in going to Duke University in North Carolina for a long weekend to be a part of a young women's conference. I said yes! I'm not going to camp. I will not build a deck for a family, but I will work with others like me and make an even greater difference in  my world. The one God put me in.
Lucky me.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

My brother was too much of a butt to take a photo of the deck and himself together. But here are the fruits of his efforts.

I have so much to be thankful for.
Some people think they need God to move mountains or cure diseases in order to believe. They need to see more than a coincidence.
Sometimes something darker in me says that's just what it is.
That's all it is.
But then I hear the magic of guitars strumming and feel the energetic rush of tired, laughing bodies all around me.
And I'm surrounded not by coincidences, but by blessings.

Here's to the music in us all.
Here's to making something...out of a pile of dirt.
Here's to seeing the magical amongst the ordinary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shooting Practice

Last post I mentioned a "more to come"...
Well here is that more!
I couldn't resist that title for this post; however, this post has nothing to do with guns or ammunition or anything to do with bangs!
So, without further ado...
Linnea and I had some fun frolicking in the gardens around her house playing pretend as model/photographer.
Something we've done for a while as I love using every chance I get to snap some shots with my trusty old canon.
This time, I decided to stray from behind the camera and get some shots of myself. Now I'm as self-consciouss as the next girl. I mean, Linnea could be a frekin model and she hates to have her picture taken. But every girl needs to feel like a model for a few minutes in her life, right?

Here are the fruits of our efforts...with a little enhancing on my part!

I am wearing a blouse I bought thrifted in Davis, Mango shorts, and Charming Charlie cuff. Linnea is wearing a gorgeous dress from Modcloth; so many great dresses--I mean thousands!


I have two links for you!
It seems pathetic and pointless to be mentioning this now, but I had to write about my prayers and heartache for the victims in the Colorado shooting. As the stories of the 12 dead and many more injured pour in, my heart bakes a little more each time. And as much as I hate to mention this whole thing in side note, I would like to share something one of my favorite writers (blogger and author) Libba Bray, wrote, who always writes words worth reading.

Secondly, on a much happier note, here is a link to another writer/blogger I follow, Sarah J Maas. Her book, Queen of Glass, is coming out in August, and her 4 prequel e-novellas are all out as well! All wonderful and fantastical and totally kick-ass! However, I bring her up now not actually because of her novels, but because of her friend's Susan Dennard's (aka Sooz). She wrote a book too, Something Strange and Deadly, and it's already out! I bought my copy!
On Sarah's blog, she posted a contest in which the winner can expect tons of cool prizes, like a butt load of ARC's and also the chance to have your writing reviewed by Sarah herself and an actual agent as well!
Why not give it a try?! The rules are simple and posted clearly on her blog.

Here's to celebrating life!
Here's to the everday hero!
Here's to little bangs with big effects!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Memories on Memories

This past Saturday I got back from a three day stay in Davis in which I got to see much of my cousin, Linnea (Lyn-ay-uh), and her beau, Pascal (Pastel) ...(ok that's just me poking fun at his name)...(which I really shouldn't do, but we won't get into the topic of name changing...brings back too many memories*)

I didn't get as many pics as I'd have liked--too distracted with Linnea as I have not gotten to spend much time doing so in the last year, what with her going to UC Santa Cruz and me dancing.


Here are the pictures!

Linnea's little puppy (actually not, she's full grown) Abbow! Named after Linnea's pronunciation of the word rainbow when she was a little kid. So cute!

Downtown Davis!

Antique store!

I could never resist such a stellar hat!

The shoes I wish had fit...because then I would have bought them.

All these were taken in the gardens of the community Linnea lives in. It's such a wonderful little community of meandering paths, lush gardens, orchards, vinyards, streams, and of course the occasional little pond and bridge. More on this to come. :)

Past...uh...Pascal. The boyfriend. And his model for a girlfriend. What can I say? It runs in the family.

Davis Farmers Market is legendary and practically a religion for this family. I don't see why not. Best Thai food and popscicles I've had! The flavor I'm having is strawberry coconut, hard decisions between that and the thai iced tea sweet potato (sweet potato of which according to Linnea you CAN HARDLY taste...if that worried you initially) and avacado lime! Plus some delicious cheese, peaches, and croissants!

Cousin #2: Sylvan. We Ransoms roll with the wierd names! He was gone with my Aunt Sherri at a bird camp all week, but I got to spend Saturday with them.

A gorgeous painting of my grammy's; and with the proper accoompanimnet too.

Now THIS  is extra special!
One night when Linnea and I were perhaps ten, we snuck out in the dark of night with her soft pink blanky and lay down by this fence (with the garden to our right) and gazed at the stars, a thing I've endearingly loved to do for as long as I can remember. I don't recall who said it first, but it was decided, as simply as ten year olds can do, that we would never forget that moment.
I think there was a time when we sort of didn't remember our agreement, but we never entirely forgot.
And nine years later I believe that calls for a picture.

*I mean really? KaHarry? Don't even bother gets so much worse.

Happy family times!
Happy playing!
Happy memories!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Friday Adventure!

Last Firday was not only an adventure, but a wonderful new type of day altogether!
My little sister Banana joined in on my mom's and my tradition of day trips to San Francisco, which we did, but before we went to the big SF, we took a little joy stop in Lake Merrit, Oakland.
We've never been there before, but have always wanted to see what we could find.
I did a little googling and heard some people say there were shops, but we did some asking and found out there wasn't any at all. Unfortunetly.
But the lake was very nice, the weather was nice, the view was nice, and, boy, was the Greek restaurant we went to very nice indeed! I am now an official fan of Greek! Modesto has Skewers and Papapavlos, both of which I recomend, and Oakland has Bacheesos! Ah, one of THE BEST sandwiches I've had. Also my first time eating Caprese, even if it was in sandwich form. That is a recipe in its own right I need to try!
After we saw the lake:
Firstly, we made plans to come back some other time in the evening when the strung lights will be lit and get our own taste of imposter Venice by taking a jaunt on the gandolas about the lake.
And secondly, we decided to go over to SF--we hadn't planned on going there originally--as Banana had some serious birthday cash she was dying to spend!
Lake Merrit was an adventure in its own right!
And re-experiencing the bustling, teeming wonder of San Francisco Union Square for the first time with my littlest sister was a different kind of adventure, but a great and endearing one nonetheless.


As for SanFran, I didn't get any pictures. Unfortunately.
We were mostly in stores and they don't let you take photos. I'll need to get some of Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf when we take Banana next time.
We had fun at Forever 21, Zara, and Mango though!
Till next adventure!

Happy Firday!
Happy Friday Adventures!
Happy July!