Stellar Women

If I had known, before moving to Boston, about the stellar women I would meet, I’d have moved here ten years ago!  But I had no idea.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t even have recognized a stellar woman even if I saw her.  In fact, I didn’t, and today I continue to be amazed by the non-Boston stellar women in my life (you know who you are!).

So what describes a stellar woman?  Well, google images doesn’t come up with much.  Let me describe my most recent experience with stellar women:

In a conversation with a friend, I let it out that the whole moving experience had been a lot for me, and that poor MrH was bearing the brunt of it all.  She empathized and even offered to come help, but in terms of scheduling that I just didn’t see it happen.  So MrH and I went to family dinner, and when we came back he turned to me and said “you know, there’s kind of something I need to tell you about the house.”  My heart about stopped, especially when he placed his hand on my knee and had this very protective stance.  “You see, we had some people over.”  My heart did not start back up at this.  “Well, your friend A called me and asked if she and some others could come over to help with the unpacking.  Anyway, I gave them a list, I hope that’s ok…”

The definition of stellar women.  I get to be part of a community of them, seven of us who gather every other week.  Seven of us who have dreams of us still walking together, arm in arm, fifty years from now.  While I had at first had feelings of “wow, I’m forever in debt to you,” I then realized that it’s not about repaying, or prepaying, or any kind of paying.  I realized that this was an act of love, and that we are each called to our own acts of love.  I realized that God resources each of us when we need it, and that might be through our stellar women friends.  I realized that there is no way to thank these women other than to say “thank you.  God is good.”  And I realized that we’re not keeping track, there was no attendance sheet, and it’s up to me to recognize and love the stellar women in my life.  Whether they unpack my house or not. 

The Sunshine (originally: Playing House)

Tomorrow we move. 

It’s early on Friday morning and I’m enjoying a languorous moment between me, my coffee, and the keyboard.  In a few moments the craziness will break out – packing, going to work, dinner with my Little Sister, and finally home to just throw as much as I can in boxes – but for now, the world is still and peaceful. 

 A small square of sunlight peeks through the sheer draperies next to our front door.  It’s the first time all week that the sun has shown itself, and it makes me almost giddy with excitement; a stark contrast to the stressed mood I’ve been in all week.  As I look around, I notice a streak of sunlight through the blinds in the living room, where I am sitting.  It casts a light patch onto the closet door, a bright square with stripes where the blinds are.  The wallpaper in our kitchen reflects light, leading me to believe that more sunlight is coming in over there.  It’s morning, and the world is waking up. 

When I first started my early morning journaling time (most of the time in my paper journal, not here), it was dark until the moment I got up to take my shower.  It’s been a privilege to see the day start earlier each time I’m awake so early.  That in itself has made it worthwhile.  That, and the quiet peacefulness during which everything in the house is quiet, the neighborhood moves slowly, and the sun comes out to play peek-a-boo. 

That moment has been broken now.  The sun is literally rolling into this house inviting me out, inviting me to get cracking, inviting me to feel joyous and excited and beautiful.  Here I go! 

Brownies

Did you know that the origin of brownies is a complete mystery?  There are all sorts of stories out there, of course, but none of them are satisfactory to the real big-wigs.  This ambiguity surrounding the brownie’s origin makes it all the more exciting to sink my teeth in one. 

MrH just cooked me brownies.  We went in the pantry looking for a good late-night snack.  We each grabbed a box and the look that passed between us said “we’re using this one.”  “But, mine are double-chocolate.”  “Mine are triple.”  We quickly agreed on the triple. 

Even just the batter is such a temptation to me, but MrH guarded it well.  Stirring it for the recommended fifty strokes while swatting away my hand.  I got a little though – how can you make brownies and not taste-test the batter??

Out of the oven, the delicious warm gooyness of the brownie filled my mouth and the delicious chocolate aroma, chocolate chunks, and perfect brownie texture made for the blissful moment.  Much needed after another long day of painting, cleaning, and measuring.  I think I’ll have a second one. 

Top 6 Life-Lessons Learned from the House

  1. Be safe!  Putting a ladder on three of its legs because the fourth won’t fit on the stair is NOT safe.  Neither is spending two hours painting a room that has no ventilation.
  2. Dare to take a risk.  While it’s much easier to pay someone else to do the job for you, the satisfaction of getting it done yourself is so much greater.  Of course, it’s ok to ask for advice.  George at the Hardware store has been invaluable.  I’ll miss him once we’re done!Fence Pliers
  3. Community is more important than independence.  As much as we can get done with just the two of us, we’re nowhere without our friends.  Additionally, even after extensively googling, I still ended up having to serendipitously run into a flooring-finisher guy who told me that the best way to remove staples from my hardwood floor is with handy-dandy “fence pliers.”  Who knew?
  4. Try it, you might like it!  I never knew that I enjoyed spackling, or that the satisfaction of removing “tackless strips” is greater than watching others do it on HGTV.  Now I know. 
  5. Love your husband.  Even when you’re so frustrated with him not doing something your way, or the right way, or the fast way.  After all, tomorrow you’ll be on a project where you need him to love you.  I guess that’s part of those vows we took.
  6. Trust God.  He really is around, and really does provide.  Just today I managed to pick up a 100% free, beautiful, wood headboard that I’ve been dreaming about for over a year.  It’s called craigslist, yes.  It’s also called God’s provision, and it always comes through. 

On the prowl…

For chairs, that is!  As MrH and I are discussing the various room arrangements in our new house, I realized that for each room I’ve said “oh, and we should have a chair in that room too, so I can sit and read!”  Well, we have been looking on good ol’ craigslist and found our first chair.  our chair- kind ofIt looks kind of sort of like this one, although ours is an olive green with neutral cushion.  Depending on where it winds up, I might end up making a little pillowcase for the cushion – something fun and funky in a big-print kind of fabric.  While some might think the olive might go perfectly with the teal couches (after all, they’re both green!), I secretly want it to go in the guestroom. 

Speaking of the guestroom (which we just finished painting today), I’m super excited to have my little writing desk in there.  Writing is such a private activity, and the idea of being able to have my own little desk in a room that nobody uses on a daily basis feels luxurious and exciting.  Of course, so does the idea of having a bed all made up for anyone who needs it.  I wonder who the first person(s) will be!

Back to the whole craigslist thing.  It is a beautiful website – we have found our first chair, we have arranged to pick up 80 moving boxes, and continue to look.  It is one of those things that completely sucks you in, losing track of time, forgetting about meals, etc.  However, that’s when my dear husband reminds me of the time, and we figure out where our dinner will come from tonight.  Alright, back to prowling, before MrH reminds me of the time…

Spa-Night Dinner

I’m contemplating initiating a weekly “spa night” where I treat myself to delicious and nutitious foods.  Ok, maybe more delicious than nutritious, but not of the fried anything variety.  MrH wouldn’t be into this: when pressed, he’ll pronounce bland foods as his favorites.  I don’t mean that he lists foods that are bland and I draw the conclusion, the direct quote is that “I like bland foods.”  And there it is. 

So the inspiration for this spa-night, besides the fact that I like to pretend I’m wildly famous and being served perfect foods by top chefs, was my dinner tonight.  At Trader Joe’s last week I bought this delicious wedge of triple cream brie cheese (if you’ve never at the triple cream, regardless of the variety, try it!).  Of course, brie cheese isn’t as average as regular old cheddar or swiss, so MrH won’t eat it.  Creative meals here I come!  I took the brie cheese, spread it on a slice of fresh bread, and found some red grapes in the fridge.  I sliced those up, stuck them on the brie, and added another slice of bread.  Fry on both sides till the cheese is melted, add a little side salad of field greens and Tuscan dressing, and voila!  Delicious and fancy-feeling dinner.

Oh and what does this have to be with the meaning of “wife?”  Just that sometimes, to be a “good” wife means letting your husband eat his boxed mac and cheese so that you can have the dinner that makes you feel like the fun and creative person you are!