Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tongue Tied

This is so out of control!

Pretty pictures here on The Amber Gatherer's Blog.

The Persistent Path

cross on the ground
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner

Romans 2:6-8
Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.

Luke 6:46-48
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Monday, March 29, 2010

All Things Girly

girly flowers
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
Okay, so I'm watching Oprah...and while for me her show is really hit or miss, I love allthe beauty, health, and nutrition episodes. Today she had Racquel Welch on and the talk ranged from the mundane (viewing yourself as more then an object...duh) to the "care & maintenance" that interests me quite a bit more. While I haven't even reached the big 3-0 yet, I'm very interested in healthy and graceful aging. Sometimes I just want to grab my mom and girlify her because I long to experience an older woman's beauty routine. For the record, my mom is not a haggard old lady by any stretch of the imagination, but she's not as obsessed with health and beauty as I am.

I try to keep everything that goes in and on my body as natural and chemical-free as possible with a few exceptions, so imagine my glee when I heard woman after woman on Oprah extolling the virtues of coconut oil. I'm a fat freak, an oil freak I guess you might say...I believe that our fear of oils is completely unjustified and we simply need to re-learn how to use oil. I wash my face with coconut oil 6 days a week (and use Purity by Philosophy one day a week), rub it all over my body once a day (as you would with lotion) and even add spoonfuls to my green smoothies. I love me some flax oil, olive oil (great for hair), and avocados...? I could sing praise of the avocado all my live long days.

This may sound insane to someone not familiar with the benefits of using oil to get clean, but I assure you it is no mumbo jumbo. See here: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/
My first foray into beauty oil was using Dr. Hauschka's "Normalizing Day Oil" in college which helped tame my problem skin....skin that had been unresponsive to a host of luxury skin care lines:
La Mer, La Prairie, Bliss, Bobbie Brown, Kiehl's, Erno Lazslo, Chanel, Sisley...I could go on and on. After Dr. Hauschka's help, I read up on natural beauty and skincare, testing various products and methods along the way. As my preferences evolved, I found that all I really need are the following:
Coconut Oil (face, body, and smoothie)
Flax Oil (smoothie)
Jojoba Oil (face moisturizer)
Olive Oil (hair)

I'm not going to lie to you...because I'm a product junkie, these are not the ONLY things I use on my skin. I love a myriad of lotions and potions, however these oils are my staples and I choose to keep purchasing them over and over again without fail. There is literally only one other beauty product in my arsenal that I can say that about (Burt's Bees tinted lip balm) so I encourage you to start using oils for more than just cooking.  Wash in it a bit, rub it on your kisser, and think of all the nasty chemicals you're saving your body from trying to process.

WSPA - A Great Organization

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raindrops on the "Sun"roof

"Welcome to Hawai'i, c'mon I'll show you the bar." -Pearl Harbor

Hawai'i this state is not...today our spring has turned surly, murky, and wet when only just yesterday our skies beat bright white with the sun's obstinance. Today that same sun (at least I think it's the same sun), is putting up it's fists, fighting to punch little pockets of light into the thick bulk of cloud cover.

My fingers feel around for and my eyes discover:
*dreams and stories annexed by haze
*the solitude of smell, naturally an intimate sense
*verses of droplets against all things, windowpanes and petals

So, I gave myself a shocking pink pedicure. Schaipparelli is my muse and I, her rawk lobster.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mr. Gibbous

another night 054
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
The Gibbous moon, he holds my tongue
Chastising me for songs unsung.
His wax prevents my melody,
From pouring out iambics freed.
I'm corked instead and lured to boast
By e'er increasing tidal coasts.
Til unbarnacled heart and sahara lungs
Unite and from them siren comes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Kind of Foretelling

It comes, revealed in glimpses,
Overturned pages where fingers compelled,
Scrawl letters in black and blue
Which later come to define you
And the future perfect -
Tense, backward leaning letters
Scope out definition where piles
Only prove a point by
Representation of rashly plucked nouns -
Back lit ignorance, where edges flutter like sun shade
And if you long to warm your skin,
The truth, elasticized, will snap back upon you
A swift smack of a crop against hide
And the shade dissapears.

Friends in Words

A Green Flower
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
Beautiful quotes from Michael Ondaatje followed by my comments:

"Read him slowly, dear girl, you must read Kipling slowly, watch carefully where the commas fall so you can discover the natural pauses. He is a writer who used pen and ink. He looked up from the page a lot, I believe, stared through his window and listened to birds, as most writers who are alone do. Some do not know the names of birds, though he did. Your eye is too quick and North American. Think about the speed of his pen. What an appalling, barnacled old first paragraph it is otherwise."

I so often try to think of the manner in which a book was authored so I am better able to capture the spirit of the story-telling. We get so caught up in the transactions of life, the the calcification of stories sit as rock in our porous minds instead of trickling into our little grey cells and transfer to our heart. This quote explains that consideration so perfectly...

"A man not of your own blood can break upon your emotions more than someone of your own blood. As if falling into the arms of a stranger you discover the mirror of your choice."

Just...beautifully stated, oft' unspoken truth.

"To Hana the wild gardens were like further rooms. She worked along the edges of them aware always of unexploded mines. In one soil-rich area beside the house she began to garden with a furious passion that could come only to someone who had grown up in a city. In spite of the burned earth, in spite of the lack of water. Someday there would be a bower of limes, rooms of green light."

It is so easy for any kind of beauty, natural or unnatural, to give us comfort and in the case above, a sense of home - an extension of rooms. The supposed convenience of "brining the outside in" which is such a popular subject in home magazines these days is just a simplified medicine made for this innate longing to edge outside of our abode and claim the outside as our own, for all of its seduction of color and the cleanness of dirt.

"The staircase had lost its lower steps during the fire that was set before the soldiers left. She had gone into the library, removed twenty books and nailed them to the floor and then onto each other, in this way rebuilding the two lowest steps."

I am there! Are you? Tragedy breeds eccentricity...in even the smallest of compensatory acts.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Atmosphere of Reverence

House at the Locks
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
"He thought of the atmosphere of reverence that pervaded her home. The background of sanctity that seemed to set the keynote for everything that was said and done. Not that he had been irreverent toward God and the Bible. He had simply not thought of them at all. They hadn't been a factor with which to be reckoned. He believed in a God in a way, because he knew his mother had done so, but how active her belief had been he did not know. She left him when he was barely out of childhood, and the years of school life had not helped to deepen any impression of religion she might have left him. But he hadn't been arrogant toward God, nor actively hostile to religion. He had even gone to church on occasion when he was in the company of those who did. But he just had not had the time for anything outside his scheduled plan for his life, and that schedule had been preparing himself to be a success in his chosen profession, and getting to himself as much happiness as was consistent with that ambition. The fact that his idea of happiness had been fairly sane and clean, and did not include many of the things that the world today professed to enjoy, did not blind his eyes to the difference between his standards and those of the Devereaux family...
...Looking squarely into the eyes of truth there in the middle of the night he was forced to admit that her background was much alien to his own as this Christian household where he was now a guest."

~The Substitute Guest, by Grace Livingston Hill

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bearing Fruit

Apple of My Eye
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
John 15

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bright Pink Blooms & Gas

Bright Pink Blooms
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
My dog has an anxiety disorder.

No really, I swear he does. It gives him gas...so he is a noxious little guys. Poor thing smells more like a skunk than a dog sometimes. So today I'm giving him his mango spa treatment. I kid.
Not really...it's a mango condish and it smells better than my lemon condish.
Sometimes I just want to rub flower petals on him. Manly flowery mango dog. Just like a footballer in a pink polo, my pup can pull it off.

Com'ere little guy...come get your flower power on!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pink Lights

Pink Lights
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
Okay so this has nothing to do with walking in woods, but we got a new car and I can make it light up pink so I'm showing everyone. Ha!


Now, when I wear my Lilly I can match my car to my outfit...I can set the lights to pink, green, turquoise, orange...you name it! It's not jsut the cup holders either...there are little lighted areas around the vehicle...down by your feet, the door pockets, storage bins, etc.

Numbers Man prefers blue. BO-RING.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trading, Giving Away, and Throwing Out

I am the opposite of a hoarder. I hate seeing things around...things left, things right, things up, things down. So, I fight myself to keep hold of momentos, gifts, and so on.

After working at my current job for a year, my supervisor encouraged me to bring things in to keep on my desk so people understood that I wasn't intending on being a professional nomad. Four years later I still have pretty much the same lot of desk tchochkies, but added a few other decorations. I look at my desk and think it is messy. It's not messy. It's very clean actually, but simply having things out of drawers gives me the heeby jeebies. I look around at other work spaces and they are filled with my employee's personal effects, so I understand this is normal behavior and I keep up my collection of visual distractions for that reason alone.

At home, I have no troubles accumulating clothes, purses, books, and kitchen accessories...anything else usually ends up getting donated or tossed out when the stir crazies whirl and fizz inside of me. Sometimes I even use the excuse that I lost something simply because I want to get rid of it. Pathetic, I know. I just don't want anything else to find a place for, clean, or hide away. Some things I cannot part with and for those things I have two round boxes. They aren't round for any symbolic reason, although I'm sure I could make one up if pressed, they are just two round boxes I received as gifts growing up and they stand the test of time. Inside are precious memories, small physical reminders of the past.

And I never take them out to look at them.

Because my past is pleasantly curled up in the corners of my mind.

Maybe one day, if I lose my marbles, I'll find them again by looking in my round boxes.

Until then they are pushed underneath the bed and my cat hides behind them.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gotcha Covered

Your breath precedes you on a winter’s day,
An insubstantial cloud, as if to say,
All solid things are blown to vapor soon.
Look up! The scimitar of the moon
Is but a remnant of the round it was,
Is but a ringlet of the ring to be,
As riding forth, the breath that marked your birth
Will have its heir, before it comes to death.

From: "A Winter Come" by Howard Moss

Friday, March 5, 2010

Winter's Sunny Days

A sunny day in winter
Originally uploaded by misscaroliner
Winter in the Puget Sound area of Washington state is often overcast and dreary (remember those fog posts?), so I've come to treasure any sunny day from December through to March like a little gift, best opened with eyes wide and heart ready to be charged up like a dormant battery.

Sublte shifts: The clouds glow bright white, dew glistens - illuminating red and green leaves, bulb budlings percolate the soil, and my head is inclined upward.

Blog find of the day...
A post about whitework embroidery.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Growing from Dirt

Those which we call weeds do not feel the burden of inconvenience. They thrive in squalor, revile those that do not want them, and rise up in spite of indifference...outright neglect.

Psalm after Psalm recants our Christian response to facing enemies, anguish, judgement, thunderstorms...

Cry out to God for help.

Do you suppose the weeds reach toward heaven with stronger spirit than frail petals that instead call upon human touch? We devote ourselves to brightly colored delicates, and trample upon the ugly and strong.

When it is both, it is all, and the brightness of love shines upon all of us.