Things To Do and Wet Days

It’s a beautifully wet day. 🙂 The air has been cleared of its hot humidity and is awash in cleanness. The grass is green, the air is clear, and it is a wonderful temperature outside. Every day this week it has rained all morning, cleared up in the afternoon, and rained sporadically throughout the evening. It’s lovely weather for everything summery, but summer is actually over for the kids in my school district. Not me, however, I start next Monday. Monday is a delightful day to start school on, and the proper one too. I shouldn’t have liked starting school today, as we planned to a few weeks ago. Thankfully there is just way too much preparing to be done.

Oh! A black butterfly has landed on the butterfly bush. It is all black, but for the orange tips on its back, the orange stripe on its wings, and delightful white spots on the tips of its wings. It is gorgeous! I love having a butterfly bush. It is where all the posh, little butterflies come to eat, drink, and socialize. It may be a rather untidy thing to keep by the front porch, but its untidiness is well worth the beautiful little creatures that it brings.

What have I done today? Quite a lot, I should think. For one, I watched two English (not British, mind) shows, and one was The Great British Baking Show. I love Netflix, because it has brought to my attention beautiful shows. And, oh, TGBBS is truly a beautiful show and very relaxing. The contestants are so nice to one another. It is a show entirely in it’s own league. No American cooking show can ever hope to elevate itself, in my mind, to the height of greatness that The Great British Baking Show has achieved.

What else have I done? School preparing. Of course. I really enjoy it, but I need a break, and right now I’m taking one.

What I Hope to Accomplish:

  1. More publishing research
  2. More writing research
  3. A successful listen through to Mmhmm (RK, of course) 🙂

That is all.

Good Day,

Claire

Sunset

I watched the sun set over the beach. It’s funny how a little thing like a sunset is really not such a little thing. It’s a beautiful thing and there’s no better way to experience it then to see it by a large body of water. The way the light reflects off of the water and colors the clouds is amazing to see. It’s one part of nature that I have always been in awe of.

Yesterday, when I saw the sunset, I tried to ingrain it into my memory so that I could write about it later. Here is what I remember: large clouds skirting across the western sky, the sun quickly descending into the midst of them. I remember the riot of colors that exploded into being as the sun passed by the clouds. There were pinks, reds, oranges, and gold. I remember the grey-blue of the clouds and the white-tipped waves that rushed to the shore.

I can never see something as it truly is for long, because my imagination takes over and I see a new world. No matter how old and mature I get I never want to stop seeing things as they could be, or imagining things into being. Yesterday, I saw a cloud boat. It was floating near the water, a little to the east of the sunset, away from the docks and moorings of the cloud islands. It was colored pink and a tiny white flag could be seen fluttering in the breeze. Soon, it had sailed away into the evening sky.

There were lots of people down by the shore. There were kids playing in the water and on the dunes. They played in the sand and by the shore. The adults were snapping pictures and walking up and down the beach. I wondered what it would be like if no one worried about taking the perfect picture and we all just watched the sunset instead. Of course, I thought of Look On Up by Relient K. I was seeing that song play out in front of my eyes. Pictures are great, but they can never replace the beauty and wonder of seeing a real sunset.

Those are my thoughts. 🙂

Claire 

 

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalm 19:1

There’s a little bird on the porch where I’m sitting. He is a dressed in brown and white feathers with a baseball cap of red feathers on his head. He’s only about four inches long and I watch as he hops around the porch before fluttering away.

The wet street reflects the blue sky, bright with clouds after an afternoon rainstorm. Clumps of rain clouds hover ominously all around, but the rain has already come and gone. A beautifully sunny evening awaits.

Even when the rain does pour down, the Glory of God is still proclaimed. Regardless of circumstances, emotions, and sin the sky is always above us telling us that God is still at work. He hasn’t abandoned us and He never will.

 

Wise, Old Panther Cat

I saw the Panther cat today. He was sitting on the brick wall this afternoon. I was tired from working, and so I went out to greet him. He blinked his green eyes cautiously and stayed behind the bush where he crouched. I peered back and stretched out a welcoming hand. Stretching out his black head, he sniffed my hand and nudged it. I pet him for a while and took this time to tell him about myself.

“Hello Panther Cat,” I started, settling myself on the wall, “My name is Claire. What is yours?”

We had a great conversation about flowers, mice, and pesky cicadas that always buzz much too loudly when one is trying to have an afternoon nap.

“I’ll tell you a story if you tell me a poem,” I said. Panther Cat agreed and I started.

“There once was a girl who loved to look at the sky and make observations on it. One day, when she was astutely observing the night sky and finding constellations, she heard something that made her look down.

“A piano. The notes struck the air with a satisfyingly bright noise. They seemed to float along on a cloud. The girl looked down from the rock where she always sat and tried to see where the music was coming from. She could see the notes away in the valley, they were sparkling, gold lights in the darkness.

“The girl followed the golden orbs of sound to their source and found a piano. It was sitting beside the road. It was white and shone like a pearl in the moonlight. A boy sat at the bench. Every time he played a note, a sparkling orb of golden light floated up and away from the piano and into the air.

“When the song ended, a new one began, this one was soft and soothing, and silver. The girl desperately wanted to say something, but when the song ended she had nothing to say but the truth. She clapped and the boy turned to look at her. ‘Thank you,’ she said, ‘You made me look down from the stars and realize that life really is on earth, and it can be more beautiful than the stars.’ The End.”

The sage Cat nodded his head and I pet him some more. “You promised a poem.” And it began.

The shy young girl

And the sage old cat

Sat on the wall

Discussing this and that

They both loved talking

About pink lemonade

They both loved stories

And red in all its shades

Colors were their favorite

Topic of debate

Which was the best

They each tried to expatiate

But when, at the end of the day,

They forgot their fighting

And cast their worries away

Stories appeared with the stars

Among their dusky brightness

 The stories were waiting to be told

Every evening a new one

A beautiful mystery to behold

It was hard to let them go

So when the sun began to rise

And reminders of real life appeared,

They looked up at the morning sky

Because hidden in the folds

Of the bright blue sky

Their stories were waiting

For the next night

“That was a lovely poem,” I said to Panther Cat. “It sounds just like something I would say.”

I don’t really know why I just wrote that. It was based on my experience today. I saw a black cat and church we (me and my sister) called him Panther Cat. 🙂 Good times. 

 

A Beautiful Day and Honesty

Thought One:

The wind is blowing through the trees. They are all in sync. All of the trees in my neighborhood dance to the music of the softly blowing breeze.

I look up at the sky and see the sun, peeking through the clouds. Metaphors pass through my head as I squint up at it. I hold them each in my mind for a millisecond before letting them go like dainty butterflies.

I look at the ground and see many things. Life flows around them and connects them all together. They are all connected by life and the one who gave them that life. The pink peonies shyly nod at the visiting bees, and people pass by; their unique story swirling throughout and around them like the enticing scent of a mysterious perfume.

Throughout everything in my world this afternoon flows the beautiful hope of a summer yet to happen. Memories are waiting to happen, lives are waiting to change, and dreams are waiting to be made and accomplished. Everything is possible all of a sudden, simply because it’s summer.

It’s a beautiful life, but hard too.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I’ve honestly started this post about four times. None of the times before this felt right. Now, as I sit here looking out on my front yard and evaluating life as I know it, it feels right.

Thought Two:

Can we be honest? Please. Because most of the time we aren’t completely honest, not with ourselves and not with others.

Are we ever okay? Really and truly, fine? When we speak these words are we being truthful? I’m not okay. Constantly. It’s okay to not be fine. It’s okay to be hurting. And it’s OKAY to say that. When life gets hard. When we are hurting. It’s okay to admit that. Why do we think that we have to be strong all the time? We don’t have to, because we can’t. There is no possible way to be fine all the time.

The question of whether or not other people can help us is irrelevant. Other people aren’t there to help you all the time. The real question is whether or not we care about the people who care about us, enough to tell them about what is going on in our lives, good and bad.

I fail at this all the time. I did today. But pretending to be fine is never the answer. Being honest is the answer.

I’m still not sure what this post is about. It’s really just the thoughts that have been floating around my head today. I love this beautiful life of mine. I love the beauty in the world, I love summer, and I love honesty. Yes, I’m scatter-brained today, but what can you expect from a girl who has about a hundred things running through her mind at a time? 😉

Listen to good music and be honest with yourself and others,

~ Claire

Outdoor Games

I remember when life was nothing more than finishing school in time to play outside before it got dark. The days between the first snowfall and the first fifty degree day of the spring, were hard ones for me and my siblings and, because we lived to play outside. Every year there were new games to play outside, mostly ones that involved stories of some sort and make-believe. Today, I want to share some of those games, because I miss them. :/

 

1. “House” version 1

First of all, did not call it house. I called this game “home” or “family.” Why? Because I was scared of the TV show House. When I was little it always came on just after either American Idol or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Gosh, I loved that show!!). Anyways, at the beginning of every episode there was a little message that said, “Viewer discretion advised.” For some reason that little message always freaked me out! So, whenever we played “house,” I would call it “home.”

Anyways, the first version of this game was very simple. My siblings and I (four of us in all) would gather all of the fold up tables, outside-furniture cushions, and toy cooking stuff that we could find and put it all in a big pile. One-by-one, we would all pick out the pieces that we wanted, except for my brother. He was always the wanderer (i.e Indian, soldier, police officer etc. who for some reason never had a proper home). After sorting all the stuff, my sisters and I would pick a place for our houses to be. I always picked my favorite spot under the trees at the top of the hill. My sisters always fought over the front porch and the loser had to make-do with our tiny back porch. Most of the actual game was spent visiting each other and getting speeding tickets from my brother when we went too fast down the sidewalk on our scooters and bikes.

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My “home” under the willow and pine trees.

 

2. Mermaids…ish

In my neighborhood we can’t put up a small baby pool. You know, the kind that are like two feet high! So we used our tiny sandbox for a pool and played in the sprinkler that was mostly used to water the grass.

There were many games that could be played with the sprinkler, but the best game was the mermaid game. I learned this game from a friend… who actually had a pool. Basically, we were all mermaids (me and my sisters) and we all lived beside the sprinkler. That was the game. So much fun. XD

 

3. Indians and Settlers

This game was the most fun once we built our deck, before the deck we had a tiny back porch. After the deck was built we used it as a boat for the settlers to come over the “ocean” in. My two sisters and my brother always wanted to be Indians. I always wanted to be a settler because then I could dress up. 🙂 I would pack some dress-up clothes, dishes, and a few books into a box and leave for the “New World” where the Indians lived.

After my arrival in the “New World” I would set up camp and explore, inevitably finding the Indians. War would ensue and or we would become friends. War was much more exciting.

 

4. Grass Soup

Besides playing make-believe “house” games, we would always play cooking games. I learned this game from another friend, or maybe she learned it from us… I can’t remember now. Anyways, it was a great game. We would take all the five-gallon buckets we could find and fill them with water and the cut grass that came out of the mower (I’m not sure if there’s a technical name for that or not). Next, we would add whatever was growing in the yard; dandelions, grass seed, violets, leaves, petals off of random flowers, and of course the secret ingredient. 😉 This could be anything from a blade of grass to our own breath.

We would also play other cooking games. We would collect the broccoli and grape tomatoes that we grew in the garden, add water and voila, we had soup.

 

5. The best game

One year, before the deck was built, we bought a camper and parked it beside our house to clean it up. It stayed there for a while (even though it was violating the neighborhood rules) and we loved to play in it. Behind the camper we had our baby pool (before that too had to be taken down) and every day I would wade through it on my way to the covered wagon, I mean camper. 🙂

 

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It was the best game because we had a pool and a permanent house. I can’t remember why it was so great, but I have fond memories of playing everything from pioneers to camping. It was a great time.

Those are a few of the outdoor games that I played when I was younger. I made so many good memories playing these games and I still remember them fondly. 🙂

April Days

More pictures today because I have been at the soccer field a lot over the past week or so and because I get bored during school sometimes. 🙂

 

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My science book

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My sister (Abby)’s artwork

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Pictures of the sky at the soccer field (on different days).

April has been good to me, not too many rainy days and not too many sunny ones. I love being able to sit outside on the porch all day while I do school and taking bike rides with my family (which I did yesterday). I also love going to the soccer field and watching/commenting on the game… while trying to do school. I usually (always) end up watching the game and not getting anything done. 🙂

Other things that have been going on:

On Sunday nights (at church) I teach a class of four to seven year-old’s along with a couple of friends of mine. Listening to their (the kid’s) answers to the questions I ask them is really encouraging, because I can tell that they are actually learning something. 🙂

Also on Sunday nights, I sit in on the practice for a play that we are putting on for Vacation Bible School in June. I’m in charge of the sound effects and whatnot. I love my job. 😀 The play is so hilarious and I love watching my friends (and my sister Abby) get into character.

Big news! Today, I watched a how-to video on Rey’s (from TFA) hairstyle in the movie! I tried it out and am happy to report that it is really simple and fun to do! Here’s the link. (Yes, it is supposed to start in the middle)

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This post is all about my two favorite seasons, spring and summer, but mostly summer because it is already the middle of spring. 🙂 I’m just going to describe each one and list some short goals for summer. I will probably do another post like this later in the year (like May or early June) setting down my goals in detail. Enjoy my random post! XD

Spring and Summer are two of the loveliest words out there. 🙂 They evoke images of warm days reading and writing, finding a new obsession, binge tv watching, church camp, VBS, and the one hundred and one other things that the warm months bring.

Spring brings a sense of hope and new life. When the daffodils pop up from the ground and the magnolias bloom, everything seems so new and cheery. The lovely sounds in the air make me shiver with delight. Everything is busy again. Every day is packed full of happenings. Everything from winter seems so far away and it feels like spring has always been here. Everything about Spring makes me want to read the Anne of Green Gables Series, which I first read in the spring.

It gets harder to focus on school during the spring, because it gets warmer and all I want to do is spend the day outside reading. I have to sternly remind myself each morning that it is still April and the end of school is (almost literally) nowhere in sight. It’s sad, but true. 😦 No, actually it’s really not sad because I’ve been having a ton of fun this spring. It really hasn’t been warm regularly, but today the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are in full bloom.

Summer brings a whole different kind of feeling with it. I don’t know when it begins, but somewhere between May and June the air changes. It’s no longer charged with new life, but filled with a honey-like sweetness and a molasses-like slowness. The days grow long and hot. Vacations are taken to all corners of the globe. Long, breathless days are followed by raging thunderstorms. In the summer the whole world seems to want to stay where it is for just a while longer. But it doesn’t. Even though everything should seem slow, long and lazy, summer zips by. Pretty soon it’s over and “back to business as usual”.

What I hope summer brings:

  1. Rest and Relaxation (a.k.a a break from school)
  2. Writing, writing and more writing
  3. Reading, reading, and more reading (for fun of course)
  4. Happy memories
  5. No regrets
  6. Personal growth

What I think summer will actually bring:

  1. Lots of school (I won’t be finished until August)
  2. Little time for reading
  3. Lots of wasted time
  4. Happy memories
  5. Possible embarrassment
  6. Still selfish me in the end (aka no personal growth)

I don’t know why I’m so down on this whole thing. I can do it! 🙂 Seriously though (and I’m really being serious), if at the end of the summer all I accomplish is making others happy and spending time with them even when I want to spend it by myself, than that will be a good summer. 🙂 No, actually that would be a great summer.