Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
My heart beats wildly. I choke back a sob. I bite back angry words that rise to my lips. I just want to get away--get away from this suffocation, this madness; get away somewhere quiet where I can be alone with my sadness. It is something so small, and yet it has pricked me like a poisoned sword and unleashed my anger.
I feel hot passion coursing through my veins, and I remember what it is—who it is—who has angered me. I cringe at the thought of their face, I imagine their voice, high and mocking, and it surrounds me. The noise of the house only makes it worse—oh, where is somewhere quiet? Why can’t they let me be? Why do I hate them so? I rush to my closet and pull the door shut, breathing heavily. Alone at last, yet—still that hateful face appears in my mind’s eye, the mouth scorning and smug. I despise it, how it has hurt me. And I whisper that I do.
Yet slowly, the rage melts away, as cool silence envelopes me. I lift my tear stained face from my lap and hear a still, small voice. “My daughter,” it says, so tenderly, so patiently. “My daughter, forgive as I have forgiven you.” The voice is silent, mild, yet it is slowly drowning out the mocking voice that still echoes within me. “Have not you seen my cross?”
I sit for a moment—or perhaps an hour, perhaps a year. Can I forgive? Can I forget? Not alone—oh, never alone. But slowly, without uttering a word, I give it up. I feel His strength within me, able to give me all that I need to let it go. And oh! My hurt is gone, the echo fades; He leads my hate gently away and gives me the peace of forgiveness.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Mmmm. It's gorgeous out today. That perfect in-between-spring-and-summer temperature, the sun filtering hazily through the trees in the warm, dusky light; the distant mountains crisp and beauteous against a faded blue sky. It's a wonderful day to be alive, and a wonderful season to be reveling in. Oh, spring, I was wondering when you'd arrive!
I can hardly believe that yet another Winter is behind us. Just yesterday (and I mean this quite literally), there was snow on the ground, and a chill in the wind. This morning, the sun seems to have been reminded of her duty.
This type of weather makes me want to write poetry. Or sit at the piano with the sun pouring through the windows, singing to my heart's content. It's crazy how a bit of sun can lift your spirits.
...Speaking of crazy, that is exactly the word to describe my life right now. My weeks lately have been fringed with that busyness which you can't explain despite its all-too-true reality. My camera has even lain still for days upon end, besides a few captures of the spring world we are enraptured in today.
But Nikki will not be neglected for long; I am looking into purchasing a new lens for her. I'm pretty sure it will be the 50-mm 1.4, but I may go with a 70-mm, too. I just. need. to. save. Camera equipment is dang spendy, I've come to find. But I have several "ordered" photoshoots on the horizon that I need a better lens for, and thus I am scrimping with all my might.
By the way--if anyone is interested, I am thinking of starting up monthly advertising spots here at Lucia, Etcetera. I will get up a page, soon, but if you have a shop or simply a blog that needs a little love, rates will be low and all proceeds will go towards my new lens. ;) Just e-mail me if you're interested right now.
Also--I noticed with much awe and excitement that I am a mere four followers away from 900! Wow. And I mean, wow. I have a supercalafragilistic giveaway planned for y'all as soon as that number is reached--prizes have just been pouring in, and you will not be disappointed. I promise. There are things for the fashionista, the jewelry-lover, the gift card adorer, and the sweet tooth. ;)
So, if you care to spread the word, please do so!
And thus ends my little ramble about my utterly piddle-paddle life. How goes your's?
ps- calling all photographers! enter your best night shot in this month's photo challenge while you still can! *whispers* there's a prize...
Saturday, March 17, 2012
It's rainy and green today. Suiting, because today happens to be Saint Paddy's Day. Am I the only blogger in the entire web mentioning this? Perhaps--ah, well. I have always loved Ireland, so I shall dedicate a few lines to its holiday.
What is there not to love about Ireland? The cliffs, the stone fences, the mossy fields dotted with sheep, the thousand-year-old history still preserved among quaint villagers.
I'd say I'm pretty lucky (four-leaf clover lucky, maybe?) to live in the one state that is most like Ireland. Oregon is wet, and green, and pretty--without the accents and old villages, perhaps, but still as like it as you can get.
..Nevertheless, it is on my bucket list to visit Ireland one day; to explore the castles and crags and simply wander as a globetrotter. And I mean, seriously:
disclaimer: that quote goes for guys and girls, just so ya know--I'll listen to an Irish lass just as long as an Irish lad. And I really never call guys "cute--" I just thought it was a pretty funny quote. :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I'm an Oregon girl. More specifically, a Portland-er. (okay, so I don't actually live in Portland, but I'm about 1/2 hour away). If you don't know Portland, it's a beautiful urban city; very 'green,' very hip, and very health-oriented. Seriously, in the City of Roses (because yes, we're known for those, too), if you bike to work and shop at Whole Foods Market, you are majorly awesome.
One of the things I love about Portland are all the small, crazy cool yummy places. Oh, and I forgot to mention: for a foodie business, crafting local + being utterly unique = win. We have tons of little French-ish cafes, cozy bakeries, and, of course, creameries. Like Salt & Straw.
This is a pretty random post, because for starters, I haven't even been to Salt & Straw. But I saw an ad for it the other day, and was thinking, "Oh my goodness, this place looks amazing--" and then I realized it was right in my own homecity! So I thought I would post about it and file it under the categories of "filling you in about my home" and "things I love." A.k.a., "Portland," and "ice cream."
Salt & Straw is a pretty amazing ice creamery located in uptown Portland, Oregon. As I said above--I've never been there. But listen to this and gaze with me upon these pictures, and I think you will agree that this place should be on mine and your's "places-I-wanna-go" Pinterest boards.
For starters, the ice cream is crazy, yet delicious--or so I've heard. I mean, here are some of the flavors:
Ocumare Single Origin Chocolate
Pear with Blue Cheese (not too sure about this one..)
Arbequina Olive Oil
Sumptown Coffee Cold-Brewed with Cocoa Nibs
Chocolate with Gooey Brownies
Lemon Basil Sorbet
Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper
Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla
Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Ribbon
Melon with Coppa
..and the list goes on. Apparently, Salt & Straw's ice cream is made with 17% Butterfat (helloooo calories!), churned with care "to be sure very little air is let in to ensure a nice bite," and kept low on sweetening "so the flavors can shine through." And listen what they do to ensure the caramel in "Caramel Ribbon" is amazing:
I guess all that needs to happen now is me visiting the place of glory. What flavor would you pick--or, more dramatically--what flavor will you pick when you come visit me and we go to Salt & Straw for reals? ;) I'm thinking Big Hibiscus Sherbet or Grandma Malek's Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache. :]
The gorgeous gardens. >> We have many--the Rose Garden, which absolutely stunning during rose season, and definitely one of our trademarks, the Japanese Gardens, etc.
The many running/walking/hiking paths. >> Portland is quite literally a city in the woods. There is city, and then, out of the blue, there are...woods. Trails are numerous, and I like that.
The coffee shops. >> I don't spend much time in these, due to lack of funds and the state of being, currently, a non-coffee drinker (though I do like it), but we have tons of cute ones. :)
Portland is the Human Trafficking hotspot of the nation. >> Just found this out this year, and believe me, you will never catch me walking around the city alone at night. Eek.
Portland is insanely weird. >> Yup, I wouldn't blame you for seeing hippies waving peace signs and sporting dreadlocks when you think, "Portland." And you will see numerous bumper stickers saying, "Keep Portland Weird!" ..if you ever travel our way. o.O
Portland is insanely and annoyingly liberal. >> 'Nuff said.
So. There's my little random post about Salt & Straw and other random Portland things. :) Come and visit me, whydontcha?
ps-on second thought, honey balsamic strawberry with cracked pepper looks pretty sweet. wacky but interesting. i wonder...
Sunday, March 11, 2012
March. It's a month of winter-breaking-into-spring, fickle weather (at least for us Oregonians--today was sunshine + sleet), and timid blossoms. I'm not crazy about this time of the year; I don't like these in-between-seasons months. Full-force for me, that's what, whether it's winter, spring, summer, or fall--I just want one direct season.
No matter what the season, though, I can usually count on a beautiful night. It can be stormy, it can be clear, it can be snowy, dusky, warm or chilly, but night it night. And tricky as darkness is to capture with a lens, I love to do it. And I want you to love it, too.
This month's photo challenge is night. Capture the lights of a city piercing the darkness. A bonfire illuminating a beach. The full moon rising. It's a harder one, and this time the winner of our challenge who best captures night will receive:
A camera strap of choice from
Um, pretty sweet, right? Thanks to Mae Anne for generously donating this prize!
So, time to get clicking! I never cease to be amazed by the many talented photographers that fill the blogger world and somehow find their way into my photo challenges. I hope you have as much fun as I do. :)
Last month's photo challenge was black-and-white love. The winners are posted below--great capturing, ladies! If you have been following the polls on the sidebar, you will see that it has been a close match all week, and we even had a tie for first place. I guess that just means that everyone's photos were equally spectacular. ;)
1st place -- Jennoelle
2nd place // Marie
3rd place // Neigh Girl
So. Ready to take on the new challenge?
Grab your camera (or your computer's picture folders, whatever is most handy), take an amazing shot, and then come back here and link up your blog post, flickr photo, or whatever you want to use to link it up. Just fyi:
-"Linking up" means to copy & paste the link to your blog post containing your photo, or the link to your photo on flickr, into the linky box below. Just submit your name, and voila! You're all "linked up."
-Please include the button in your post, or beneath your flickr (etc.) photo, give the link to this challenge. That way, others can join in, too!
-If you can, visit other entries and give them some support. :) Everyone likes a comment or two!
Have fun--I can't wait to get started. :) This challenge ends on March 31st, 2012. Finalists will be announced soon afterwards, and we will all vote on a winner the following week.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Backseat driver. You know what those are, right? Yeah. The annoying (and most often license-less) personage who is best known for phrases such as, “go!” “turn!” “hurry up!” and “STOP!”
All from the backseat of the car, a good six feet from the wheel. Never been guilty? Think again.
Sometimes, life feels exactly like New York City in the middle of rush hour. Everyone rushing this way and that, horns honking impatiently at me as I lumber along, lost and bewildered and just wanting to get home. I'm hustled and jostled along with a sea of frenzied traffic, and then--all of a sudden, just as I thought I was getting somewhere, life comes to a halt like a red light blocking my path.
Sigh. Why does life always do that? Deceive us and disappoint me, I mean? And why are people always honking their horns at me when they can see I’m just as stuck as they are? And where did I take a wrong turn? And why am I here when I’m supposed to be…there?
Wait. Hit pause. Um, okay, that’s easy to do—I'm not going anywhere right now, anyways.
Something tells me that I'm forgetting the true purpose of my time here, on this earth, in my little corner of the universe. I have been so busy trying to read the map myself and pretend I know exactly where I’m going that I’ve begun to miss the whole point of this road trip called life. And guess what, Lucia: it’s because you were never intended to be the driver in the first place.
Uh-oh. Here stands a backseat driver, guilty as charged. And I had pledged never to be one.
Friends, life is short. You know that, and I know that, but just the same, we take it for granted. And we make mistakes. Why? Because we try to drive ourselves through the maze of people and places and feelings and heartaches and heartbreaks, not knowing what we’re doing and becoming just as dangerous as a four-year-old driving a bronco. The halt in life that we merely passed off as a “red light” is really us overturned in a ditch.
So? What now? Simple. We can sit in the car with the airbags in our face, screaming and squirming and trying to figure out how we'll get out alive this time, or we can be still and know that He is God. We can put the mangled wheel in His hands, and let Him lift us free.
Jesus, drive this car, because I’m going nowhere without You. This backseat driver just let go of the wheel.
// all photos via pinterest //