Wednesday, May 27, 2015

That flower crown is going to make you look so old!

Well, that was a good run. I've lost the ability to write. It's gone. Gone! My one talent, frittered away.

I shouldn't be so dramatic. This happens from time to time. In fact, I know you can find very similar posts to this one if you go back a ways. Normally I just have to write garbage for a few months and then it comes back, like a flowering weed sprouting out of a crack in the asphalt. But for now, I'm stuck.

As usual, I will now list things I have started writing about and then deleted because how much do I love you (too much):

1. The freckles on my eyelids
2. The state of my office windows after the kids have pressed their hands and faces against them.
3. Twice-baked potatoes
4. The license plate I saw this morning - NYYJTR2 (Yankees drool!)(But Jeter is great) (There, I said it.)
5. Bumper stickers I would not put on my car
6. What is the evolutionary reason behind fast-growing fingernails?

Oh, geez. I've lost it.

But here's something pointless that I was going to write at length about but will now simply give an abbreviated commentary:  flower crowns.

Have you noticed that they're everywhere? Particularly in bridal parties. And while I think there's something a little sweet about them, and I've seen a few that I think look lovely, I'm convinced they're really going to date us. Like, they're going to become this generation's version of this:

Pray that the weed sprouts soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Graham Cracker

1. I have a new nephew! Graham Howard Knecht was born yesterday to Casey and Kylea. Graham after the cracker and Howard after my grandpa. Names I will  be calling him besides Graham Cracker: Graham Poobah, Graham Central Station, Grahammy Award Winning Polka King; Peanut Butter and Jelly Graham-wich; and "First you take the Graham..."

2. Katie got her masters degree on Saturday. Rejoice! She's been done since December but wanted to walk and be hooded. (The hood is such a weird thing, right?) It was a very happy day. But, like all graduations, it was long. And there was a woman sitting behind us during the ceremony who sounded like a five year old who had just ingested a weather balloon full of helium. She had the highest pitched voice I've ever heard. So imagine how funny it sounded when she asked her friends, "Hey, what should we do tonight? Let's get really drunk! I'm mean totally smashed." Also, she and her boyfriend were both loudly eating and sucking their fingers clean. At one point both Lindsay and I both did the old slow-head-turn-side-eye-sigh routine because it was so gross.

3. My 100 Days of Creating Space is going like gang-busters. It is so much fun looking over my shelves and choosing one thing that I'm done with and dropping it in the trash or Goodwill bag. So long book I only sort of enjoyed. Adios bag of costume jewelry I've never worn. So far it's all been things that are easy to part with. But I think the day will come when that is not the case. And yet I'm determined to stay the course. Do you ever wonder sometimes if you're just one mental illness away from being on Hoarders? I do have a place for everything and I have never see black mold or rat poop (oh sweet land of liberty, could you imagine?), but sometimes I feel positive that if I weren't of relatively sound mind I would be drowning in a sea of junk.

4. I've been daydreaming of a long road trip up the coast. I want to go to Salinas and lay flowers on Steinbeck's grave, I want to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. I want to eat cheese in Mendocino. I want to hug a redwood tree. I'm thinking August.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

100 Days of Creating Space

Have you heard of the 100 Day Project? You create something for 100 days. Like pictures of bunnies, or macrame plant hangers, whatever. Just create. I love the idea of this, especially with my seminary summer vacation looming. I have roughly 100 days between the end of this year and the beginning of next. Convenient! I tried to think of something creative to make (100 days of popsicle stick art would be great because it would also keep me in popsicles all summer) but here's what I keep coming back to: 100 days of creating space. I'm going to throw/give away 100 things this summer. Every day I'm going to pick one item that adds no value to my life and I'm getting rid of it. I'm not going to waste time trying to find it a new home. I'm just going to trash it or put it in a box which I will take to the Goodwill each week. I'll become best friends with the Goodwill people who will then alert me when a really choice punch bowl set comes in. Because a punch bowl set would definitely add value to my life.

This came to me when I looked into my closet yesterday and sighed. I sigh every time I open the door because there's just too much stuff. I always whisper, "I'm going to throw you all away someday." But the idea of spending a large chunk of time throwing things away overwhelms me. All the dust! And the heavy lifting! And the walks back and forth to the Dumpster! And the time spent trying to figure out what to watch on Netflix while I do it. I mean, I can't watch something new because I need to stay on task but how many times can a girl watch North and South (a lot). So I just can't. But I can definitely get rid of just one thing every day. That's easy.

In addition to this creating space business, I'm going to include creating a beautiful space. so maybe instead of getting rid of something I'm going to improve it. Like finally getting around to framing and hanging all of those pieces of art I have stacked up against the wall of my bedroom.

This all works beautifully with my plan to have an intentional summer. I don't want summer to just happen this year and then get to the end of it and wonder what have I done with all my glorious free time. Obviously there will be many days where I come home from work and just lounge, that's one of the joys, right. But come August I don't want to feel bad about not doing some of that lounging at the beach.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The Knechts invaded Bear Lake in Utah for our very first immediate family reunion. Which is a weird concept, right? That we're to the point where we need scheduled reunions. I mean, we're all close and keep in good contact. But we're getting a bit spread out and we only seem to get together in small doses for purposes other than just spending time together. So someone suggested we rent a house with a pretty view and camp out for a few days for quality time and hootenannies and cookie making and head size comparisons. 'Tis the Knecht Way.

And, you guys, it was very nearly perfect. The non-perfect part was that Casey, Kylea, and Addie could not make it. They tried. Tickets were purchased and both doctor and airline gave approval for a very pregnant Kylea to fly. But Baby Boy Knecht had other plans and Kylea had hours of contractions the night before and they decided to not risk giving birth in Montpelier, ID. Oh, we were so sad. I mean, really, truly bummed out. I'm still sad about it. There were some tears shed. But these things happen. (Still no baby, by the way. Get here already!)

We found a great house about a quarter of a mile up the hill from the lake. It was called Valhalla and every room had some kind of Norwegian theme, which naturally cracked us up. Lindsay and I stayed in the troll room. The mattresses were stone hard. I mean, it was like sleeping on sheet rock with a thin layer of cotton balls over it. Every morning we would all talk about how this must be the Norwegian way of sleeping. But other then that the place was perfect.

Here's the view from the porch:
I mean, come on! Are we in Green Gables looking out on the Lake of Shining Waters?

We would sit out on that porch for hours and just laugh. My dad took a walk down that little road and he said as he was walking back up he could hear us laughing all the way down at the lake.

We played games and painted (this has, unexpectedly, become a new thing we do) and cooked and sang (Sam and Stacy brought their keyboard), and danced. We had a devotional every night that brought a lot of tears and good feelings. The nieces and nephews made us laugh. Baby Phoebe, (Pork Bun Jr.) charmed us all with her giggles. It was all just so lovely.

Tom created a peanut butter and cheese puff sandwich. Genius!

Levi, Eliza, Tom, and Ben - Local Street Tuffs. 

We drove up to the north end of the lake to throw rocks into it. There is real joy in throwing rocks into bodies of water.

Family stroll.

This little pond was a hit because of the rock throwing possibilities. 

Yes we did make matching t-shirts. You so wish you were a Knecht right now.

Aunt B carried this child up that hill like a beast.

 Hooray for being a Knecht!

Monday, May 4, 2015

All the technology I need

The microwave at the Institute is broken. It appears that someone cooked some metal because there's a scorch mark in the back. It's been a real blow to our fair youth. All day they came to me in despair, "How am I supposed to heat up my lunch?" When I suggested they can use more old-timey means, like the oven or stove, they seemed truly dejected. But any kid who tried it would walk out of the kitchen like a super hero. We're tapping into our pioneer roots over there.

This got us on the topic of technology and what we can and cannot live without. Like, what's the farthest back you could go before you felt like you were living in the dark ages. For me, it's whenever flushing toilets came into existence. I would not be able to abide by chamber pots or outhouses. So about the late 1800s. (You guys, you have GOT to read the Wikipedia page on flushing toilets. It is a wealth of interesting facts!) This is fortunate because I would also need transportation other than a horse and buggy for long distances. I don't think I could handle the slow pace of a wagon train.

This got me thinking about the internet and how the majority of people I associate with on a daily basis have never lived in a time when the internet did not exist. I sent my first email my freshman year of college so I have many pre-internet years to recall. They weren't bad times. We were all quite happy in our ignorance. That's the nice thing about technology, you don't know what you're missing until it's there.

Except that I am keenly aware that we don't have jet packs. Weren't we supposed to have them by now? NASA announced last week that it had a successful go with a thing-a-majiggy that looks to be the early, early, early, early hints of warp drive. This is a plus for humanity because we're never going to get anywhere in space exploration without warp drive. I had several conversations at work with like-minded nerds about this. All of whom were born after the internet.

I'm rambling. To sum up: warp drives and flushing toilets appear to be all I need.