Monthly Archives: June 2011


This blog was named way back in the 2005-2006 school year (or was it the year after that) for one of my biggest identifying traits: playing the clarinet.

What occurred to me while my iPod was on shuffle and played a lot of the rep that I have collected for clarinet this morning on my way back from Ames, and then later as I was PRACTICING in my apt, is that there are a fairly large smattering of people who know me post-clarinet. They don’t even realize how immersed in the instrument and its quirks I once was. I’ve been leaning towards practicing again anyway, but as the ever-so-famous show choir tune states: I’ve got the music in me. It’s sure a little rusty–I look at the scratchings for “pop” and “taper” and even better…”tah wut tut tut” and “dah” in my Jettel, Rose, and Baermann and I am reminded of the significance, but it’s not an easily identified thing.

With the DMO being in Indianola, I am toying with auditioning for next summer’s pit orchestra. There aren’t really other venues for my playing. Can I put it out there that despite all the years of chamber playing I’ve never been asked to play for a wedding? It’s not looking like it will happen in any sort of near future, but what a neat gift that would be to offer for a couple.

I think now that I am outside of undergraduate clarinet study I have the option of going “out of the box”, however unfounded by my minimum degree and maximum rust, but I am a little interested in popular clarinet music…jazz, more specifically. We’ll see. The best part is listening to lots and lots of it to learn about sound and style.

God gave me this summer with some downtime, and I intend to use it well.

That is all. Peace!

think tank

It’s after 11 p.m. and I am not only awake, I am not in the least bit tired. This is not an often event any more…sometimes I stay up irresponsibly late (like this…except even later), but I am fighting the closed eyes and yawns. I suppose I could lie in bed and allow the buzzing thoughts to buzz behind closed eyes and under covers, but I’m up.

A high school friend got engaged this weekend. Woo hoo! I love to celebrate weddings, especially between believers, for the awesome ministry God has for marriage…being a reflection of His redemptive love for his bride the church.

On Thursday of this week I had the notion to walk to a park that is close to my apartment that has “walking trails”. I found them (these eluded me on a run weeks back) and found it to be as though I had left small town USA and entered a Tolkien scene. The slight wrinkle in exploring territory “un-explored” was the recently mowed grass. A dead giveaway to the knowledge of the path. More magical and lovely was the clover-carpeted path through the woods which led to a fairly wonky bridge that was (no joke) being propped up by a thick board. I stepped lightly over that and continued up and down hills around a prairie. The sun even came out. That was nice. It’s the sort of place where you contemplate your existence as being small and God’s intricate interest in us as being great. I love feeling small in that regard (and yet so well cherished).

I participated in a blood drive last Monday at Cornerstone and was close to evangelizing to my blood draw-er. It was slightly awkward because 1) it was on a bus…a blood drive bus, in park 2) he was a bit too friendly/attentive 3) he started working on someone else’s blood donation in the middle. I don’t doubt that God has a plan for his knee to eventually bend (perhaps it has…but in conversation it sounds as though he’s got some confusion/doubts), but I wonder what I accomplished in hesitating in a couple trails of conversation. I’m praying specifically for God to be at work for the tech, but also to increase my boldness and faith in God to provide words. I could probably justify my hesitating in a handful of ways, but I think I was timid and acted accordingly. I was not given a spirit of Timidity, according to God’s word, but of Power. My flesh’s weakness is resorting to that timidity.

Another week of camp deserves my rest and attention…so I’ll go try for it. Peace.

brick wall. attitude problem. hope.

I have run into several frustrations today, like brick walls. I finally loaded up the sticky redemption cans and bottles. During the school year I refrained from putting the empty things in my car for two reasons…kids seeing what was in my car at school or at the grocery store with their parents. I have a few glass bottles that have been collecting for a while…a long while. Some even from my seester….definitely not school appropriate bottles.  Anyway, I took them to HyVee where 3 machines out of 8 were actually functioning…1 of them wouldn’t take a single plastic bottle of mine (take that back, one of them worked) despite them all being purchased from or sold by HyVee and the other two machines were occupied by folks who had been stashing cans longer than I or more proficient in collecting them. Or something. I decided to go elsewhere with the cans so as not to be impatient or find the machines to be full (an aggravation, you might suspect).

So I took my cans to Fareway…I was wise in asking them how to return cans before loading up a cart. They don’t take them at all. At. All. I think there is a law about selling deposit bottles and not taking them back. I contemplated researching that law and turning them in on the drive home. Ha. I will not be going there, as I’ve concluded that I will take my cans to a bigger community (west des moines) and hopefully have no issues. We’ll see. I’m overall not a fan of the automatic machines. I miss Cub Foods more every day.

Another brick wall was finally remembering to buy handles for the dresser that was donated to me only to find that some idiot impatient person painted the inside of the drawers without taking out the hardware first (wasn’t me!!). Which means that the threads on the bolts are painted over, which I didn’t think would be too problematic (I have muscles enough to tackle a little paint, right?), but it is. The bolt cannot be held stationary from the front, so the whole thing just turns. I need another hand and a second, possibly better, pair of pliers. The new handles are way cute, but don’t match the old ones whatsoever. So I’d be in favor of getting that fixed. Any ideas from the great void?

The final brick wall frustration was trying to pay my qwest bill online. I have signed in no fewer than 15 times today and it won’t let me pay the bill, saying there’s an “oops”. I ended up calling and paying by phone, but never having had any trouble with the online payments I am slightly concerned that it may never work again. And that all of my paying information is lost in the void. I’ll probably call customer service if I can’t sign in tomorrow either.

Perhaps most frustrating has been realizing that small things like this can take my attitude from good to bad in nothing flat. I really want to cling to God’s goodness and the things I have been learning about worshiping Him.

It’s really super duper hot in my apartment, so I think I should work really hard to check some things off my list for today so I can read with a fan and some watta. Hope you’re well!!



Today was not especially profound that I should mention much on a blog, but it was a really nice day. I was moderately responsible with some chores, study a bit, read a book, and had a birthday dinner at PF Changs with my roommate and a friend of ours. I was even sunburned a little on my shoulders. I went on a run.

I suppose I run the risk of offending folks who work 8-5 every Monday through Friday. Sorry if I’ve offended you. I happen to enjoy what I do outside of the summer perk (of extra employment or rest), but not at your expense.

So I’m just “mmm”ing tonight. And looking forward to a handful more of “mmm” days in the weeks to come.

Peace to you,


Today is my first full day back in Indianola since going to training for camp more than 2 weeks ago. I found my mattress to be SO comfortable that I couldn’t sleep (not to mention 3 thunderstorms within 90 minutes or so), but it was lovely to ignore the alarm. And drink coffee; strong coffee…

I have strong desire to have a purposeful summer while at home during the week. Some of that summer will be spent in my classroom preparing for year #2, some of it will be spent working on camp stuff from home, and then there’s a class I’m taking, but outside of that I don’t want to squander this enormous gift of time. Here are some of my purposeful ideas:

practicing (Clarinet, Piano, other instruments?)
pen pal-ing (bringing it back)
running (5K in less than a month…gulp)
exploring this part of the state southern, central-ish Iowa
sorting, clearing out
studying (the Bible, music stuff)
investing in peeps here

I believe the last one will be the trickiest. I am SO glad to have M here with me–we got to celebrate her b-day yesterday with pizza and pie and it was great to catch up on the last 2 weeks. I’m hoping to spend my daytime hours with people to some extent, too. We’ll see what that ends up looking like. I’m all for solitude, too,  but in moderation…in excess is where the squandering begins for this gal.

If you have a chance, try to pick up a copy of Tim Keller’s Prodigal God. It’s a fantastic breakdown of the parable…and you might find yourself identifying with the elder son more than the younger. But most importantly, Keller takes a close look at the Father and his “extravagant, wasteful spending” of love on two undeserving, unaware sons. Beautiful.

Peace to you!


I am not sure how to pronounce “hiatus”. Perhaps that’s why I’m more confident writing it than saying it. If I were to describe my absence from the blogging habit, I would not describe it as a hiatus for fear of mis-pronouncing it. But watch me use it here 5 times fast. Er, three.

The past two weeks have been at Riverside. It’s amazing to be back. Whenever I “leave” I don’t really think of it being the last time at camp because God hasn’t shut the door. The people here remain centered in Christ, the ministry is thriving, the land nostalgic. To think that Riverside was just getting on its feet again when I came in 1999 (well, it was getting on its feet again a little before that) is mind-blowing. The impact was lifelong, I’m sure. Though my memory of exactly what happened during a recharge in seventh grade, it stuck in my mind as being significant. I still remember the cool track sweatshirt club the kids from our church (and school) formed, how we volunteered for dish crew, that we listened to a song called Nothing Back (which may have been 8th grade), that on Sunday morning we did a west side story “skit” with another cabin, that Jason read a story from Jesus Freaks. I remember a bit of God time and cabin stuff, camp store chilling and playing in the rec hall (air hockey with Jay, not that he remembers).

And here I am. 12 years later…nearly.

Notes, hand-written in particular mean so much to me, and I have to just insert a quick comment about a couple that I got this week. I am removed from the general camp staff population most of the day due to the nature of my role this summer (preparing day camp stuff, these last two weeks). I’ve been hoping to get in some community time with folks, but my “old” age and exhaustion doesn’t keep me up much past share groups and you can only get so close to people in large group setting. We’ve done staff prayer a little differently in training than we have in the previous three years of my employment. Rather than praying over each staff member once as an entire staff, we’ve broken off into small groups and prayed for one another nightly. I wasn’t really thinking of community connection in that prayer time initially, but I think its been the strongest connections I have made with staff so far (at least for this summer, and at least as far as meeting new staff). My note writers were in my prayer circles. Cool.

I’ve been bathed in prayer by people I love and admire these last two weeks. I’ve been reading through Desiring God (very slowly, tragically I admit to you), Prodigal God (almost done!), and The Bible itself and realizing that prayer and praise have nothing to do with obligation. It’s to be spontaneous and overflowing (which I have phrased to sound like an obligation). Although I am not completely free of the bonds of self-imposed “obligation”, I am able to remember more frequently the privilege it is to take delight in the Lord…it’s good stuff.

I was very disappointed to miss the presentation of the skits and theme verses by the counseling staff today. I did catch one while I was running a quick errand to my team in the chapel (who were watching) and it was really funny. I praise God for people who write skits well and have success in communicating humorously and accurately the designed theme. I openly admit I am not one of those people (my humor is too subtle to evoke fits of laughter from large audiences…and small) and writing skits is about as easy as knitting left-handed in the dark with homespun yarn on size 3 needles. Which is to say, a total breeze, right? Ha.

I have some serious props to give and thanks to write to a host of people. My intention was to do that now…but it’s about 20 minutes until the mime. Last night in the RC tonight (if you have a twin mattress you are considering throwing away, I am almost certain it would be worth your while to donate it to Riverside so the one I’ve been sleeping on can be thrown away. for contact information 😉 ). I’m thankful for the free board and room, but am looking forward to the luxuries of home.

Grace to you, and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,