Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, October 28, 2005


I'm looking forward to Saturday.

That sounds weird, given that I have NO plans for Saturday, and a Halloween party tonight, but it's true. It's not that I'm not looking forward to tonight. It'll be fun, but it's kinda stressing me out. See, it's a combined roommate party, and there are 4 roommates. Though our circles of friends overlap a little, well...we're still looking at a rather extensive guest list. We're expecting somewhere between 60-75 people tonight. Ack. I'm really not a big-party-type person. Fortunately the costume I'm planning will allow me to skulk around in dark corners, avoiding people.

Add to that a couple of projects at work that are causing me much frustration, and today I'm not a very relaxed girl. And wow, I really shouldn't have had that coffee.
| posted by Barbara | 7:53 PM |

Hurrahing in Harvest

Summer ends now; now, barbarous in beauty, the stooks arise
Around; up above, what wind-walks! what lovely behaviour
Of silk-sack clouds! has wilder, wilful-wavier
Meal-drift moulded ever and melted across skies?

I walk, I lift up, I lift up heart, eyes,
Down all that glory in the heavens to glean our Saviour;
And, eyes, heart, what looks, what lips yet gave you a
Rapturous love’s greeting of realer, of rounder replies?

And the azurous hung hills are his world-wielding shoulder
Majestic—as a stallion stalwart, very-violet-sweet!—
These things, these things were here and but the beholder
Wanting; which two when they once meet,
The heart rears wings bold and bolder
And hurls for him, O half hurls earth for him off under his feet.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins
| posted by Barbara | 7:05 PM |

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Have you ever had one of those mornings where you get to work and sift through your inbox and the result is a fierce desire to beat your head against your desk and then go home? Just me, then? Ok.

Updated to add a sentence I never thought I'd type: "Yes, conjured is a word, but it has nothing to do with marine eels, nor do marine eels make sense in this context."

Updated again to add the observation that it's never good when an author begins a letter with the words "You will notice that I have not bothered..."
| posted by Barbara | 9:41 PM |

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I first heard this term from Julie C.--another version of what I've usually heard called the "TMI": too much information. Well, I've found another application for the term. During the retreat this past weekend, Kerry mentioned how Christian circles over-use the word "sharing." Indeed. It kind of became a running joke for the weekend. And then, last night...well, I think I reached my "sharing" saturation point.

See, last Sunday we had a ministry team meeting. These usually include a time of talking about what's going on in each of our lives, sharing prayer requests, etc. Monday night, we had a small group dinner to meet with a new member of our group, get to know each other, and share a little about our walk with God thus far. Wednesday night we had a community sharing time in YAF, and Scott called on me to share. At the retreat this weekend, Scott asked each of us to take 5-10 minutes to share something about our lives and spiritual experience.

Then last night I went to small group, where we did our prayer request/sharing time at the beginning so I could skip out early for worship rehearsal. I shared with my small group that I thought I was out of sharing material. I have nothing else to share!! Ok, so that's not totally the case, but I really was a bit shared-out. Then I got to worship rehearsal just in time for everyone to share prayer requests. Heh. I appreciate people sharing their lives together and building community and all, but...yeah. Over-share.

I just thought I'd share that with you all.

(Total number of times I used variations of the word "share" in this post: 17)
| posted by Barbara | 9:01 PM |


I love driving to work on mornings like this. I've been driving 280 instead of 101 lately. I started the different route because the hills aren't as steep coming from that direction, and driving stick up the hill from 101 makes me tense. But I don’t think I can go back to 101. I love my morning drive through the hills.

This morning, the clouds had settled along the ridge of the hills, looking like they'd gotten caught in the trees. The sunlight made glimmers of rainbows here and there, and as I approached my exit, I drove straight into the clouds, misting up my view of the big half rainbow in the valley off to my left.
| posted by Barbara | 6:14 PM |

Monday, October 24, 2005

YAF ministry team retreat

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This weekend, I headed to Angels Camp with the YAF ministry team. This is all of us on the North Grove Big Trees Trail. It was a good, relaxing weekend of just getting to know each other better. Daryl gave a great devotional this morning about taking risks in your faith...and being willing to put yourself in situations where your faith may be tested. Quite applicable for some of the things I've been thinking about lately. I'm totally the type to live "safely" and not take risks.

I spent some time this weekend thinking back on the last couple of marks the 2-year anniversary of my move to the Bay area. And I guess that move was a pretty big risk, though I didn't see it that way at the time. It's kind of exciting to see the ways I've been stretched during my time here, and to think about some of the "risks" I'm thinking about taking in the next couple years--things that I might not have considered at all had I stayed in the familiarity of SoCal. Hmm.
| posted by Barbara | 6:50 AM |

"And then they danced upon the stump..."

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This is the stump of a tree that was once used as a dance floor. The trunk was used as a bowling alley and bar. Kinda sad. I was amused by the (rightly) indignant quote from John Muir about the audacity of cutting down such a huge, ancient tree--to use it as a dance floor and bowling alley.
| posted by Barbara | 3:16 AM |

Big Trees

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| posted by Barbara | 3:15 AM |

Friday, October 21, 2005

These rock.

Dickens, Wilde, Shakespeare, and more.

But was Austen really left-handed?
| posted by Barbara | 9:55 PM |

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Kid stories.

Emails from my sister usually yield fun stories. This is the latest installment.

Bad news. . . the bunny died this morning. We laid dear Peter Rabbit to rest this afternoon. Here is Rebekah's composition on the matter:

PeteR Rabit
He was a nis little
bune But 1 day Dad foud
that He was ded
so Dad Rapt Him in
a nis soft shrt
and we bared Him
The EnD

You have to see it with all the s's written backwards : )

And this, too:

Johnny likes to unload the cupboards while I'm cooking. So yesterday while I was making dinner, I didn't think anything of him grabbing the electric mixer and carrying it off, with the cord trailing behind him. After a bit he came running into the kitchen and there was a strange sound. He kept pointing towards the dining room, and we found that he had taken the mixer and plugged it into the ONE outlet which I left uncovered after I vacuumed. He then turned it on : ) He joined right in re-telling John the story when he got home from work, complete with gestures and sound effects.
| posted by Barbara | 6:06 PM |

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Quote for the day

To me, the thing that's so great about riding BART is that I can read while I travel. I read the first half of The Golden Key on my way to Berkeley on Sunday, and since I was social and chatted with friends on the ride home, I didn't get to finish the book until last night. It's a beautiful little fairy tale.

I love this passage and had to share it:

"She had a hundred questions to ask him, and he a hundred more to ask her. They told each other all their adventures, and were as happy as man and woman could be. For they were younger and better, and stronger and wiser, than they had ever been before."
--George MacDonald, The Golden Key
| posted by Barbara | 8:14 PM |

Monday, October 17, 2005

Busy Sunday

I'm tired and my focus for the morning is pretty much shot, so I'm blogging. Yesterday was far too busy! I let Justin talk me into meeting him and Karen at Abundant Life for the 8:30 service, and I had Joyce come with me--since it's her church anyway. =) But it ended up being an early start to a very long day.

I've wanted to check out the preaching at Abundant Life, because I've heard so many people say how incredible Pastor Paul's messages are. But he wasn't preaching yesterday. Heh. Oh well. Some other time.

The worship at ALCF started out with "Trading My Sorrows," one of my least favorite worship songs. I realized that I now have very mixed emotions about the song, because it reminds me so strongly of Paul. Yesterday ended up being a Sunday where a bunch of the worship songs at both ALCF and PBC were connected with lots of memories and I was really missing some friends back home and in Wales. Anyway, after my reaction to Trading My Sorrows, it made me laugh when the sermon was focused on the importance of why we worship and who we worship rather than how. (So stop complaining about songs you don't like, Barbara!)

After ALCF, I headed home during the almost-an-hour time slot before PBC's second service. Karen took the opportunity to camp out at our house and take a short nap on our couch. I love it when friends make themselves at home in my house...and Karen has no qualms about doing that!

After PBC, I had a brief window for a quiet lunch at home before a YAF ministry team meeting. Then I rushed to Millbrae to catch BART over to Berkeley, for a performance of Our Town at the Berkeley Rep. I'd never seen the play before, and I really enjoyed it, even though the girl playing Emily wasn't that great. It's a fun play and it was cool to see it with some friends from work.

During the afternoon, I'd gotten a cryptic text message from Eric. I called him on my drive home, and he shared the news that his dad is engaged!! Woohoo!! I'm so excited for Bill & Beth, and now I'm figuring out how I can clear my calendar for their wedding.

Other than a YAF game night on Friday, that was pretty much my weekend. Good stuff, but I need to learn not to do so much on Sundays. My Mondays suffer...
| posted by Barbara | 7:44 PM |

Friday, October 14, 2005

Where I belong?

Famous Ruler: King Edward III
Living Quarters: Castles
Hardship: The Black Plague
Who wouldn't want to live in the "fairy
tale-like" days of knights and castles?

What Time Period Do You Belong In? (Updated!)
brought to you by Quizilla
| posted by Barbara | 8:20 PM |

Thursday, October 13, 2005


In all kinds of weather,
Whether it's hot or cold
Wouldn't it be nice if we could make
The weather do what it's told?

These lines have been running through my head this morning. It's the beginning of a song we used to sing at school when I was little. Anyway, this week I've been wishing that the weather would make up its mind. If I bring a jacket with me during the day, the weather ends up warm. If I leave my jacket at home, it's cold and I'm left wishing I had a jacket. Sigh. I wish it would settle into autumn soon...
| posted by Barbara | 6:16 PM |

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Starting out--me with my big backpack
| posted by Barbara | 7:39 PM |

Joyce is trustworthy

Part of our hike was through a boy scout camp. I got a kick out of taking pictures with all the signs outlining the Scout Law.
| posted by Barbara | 7:39 PM |

Hiking down to Jackson Camp
| posted by Barbara | 7:39 PM |

Half the group at Jackson Camp
| posted by Barbara | 7:38 PM |

Little Sur River near Fox Camp
| posted by Barbara | 7:38 PM |

Justin making a grab for Karen's pack
| posted by Barbara | 7:37 PM |

Happy Birthday, Rebekah!

This is my niece Rebekah, who turns 7 years old today! (That kinda makes me feel old.) I love this kid. And I miss my nieces and nephew!
| posted by Barbara | 6:09 PM |

Monday, October 10, 2005


So I'm home from backpacking and back at work, where my body protests every time I get out of my chair. I'm trying to get out of my chair often, because I know if I don't, the stiffness will just get worse.

I did have fun this weekend. We left at around 9 on Saturday morning and got back somewhere around 9 last night. I think it would have been better if we'd had more than just the one night. It seemed like a lot of trouble for such a small time spent camping! But Justin's gourmet backpacking food was definitely a highlight of the trip. Seriously, how many people make cheesecake on a backpacking trip?!

On Sunday morning, I stuck around with the half of the group who decided to do a little more exploring/hiking before heading out. I had a lot of fun crossing the river back and forth as we hiked over to another campsite further away.

I said yesterday that really, the part I liked least was the actual backpacking...carrying the huge backpack while hiking wasn't so fun. I really shouldn't complain, as I only carried my pack for maybe 1/3 of the uphill hike yesterday. I tried to carry my own pack, but they wouldn't let me! Grrr. My strong sense of "Let me do it myself!" was challenged yesterday. After attempting to carry Joyce's pack and having it forcibly removed from my body, I gave up on insisting that I carry a pack. Somewhat ironically, it was during the fight for the backpack that I sustained my largest bruise from this trip.

Although the last hike uphill was not my favorite part of the weekend, I did enjoy Joyce's attempts to help things along by singing all kinds of random songs, including selections from Sound of Music. And of course, Karen's version of YMCA composed for Justin was also very amusing: "Yungman, don't you carry my pack..." Oh, and my favorite quote from yesterday, spoken by Karen as both she and Conrad were lifting up my pack and pushing me uphill: "If you feel a hand on your ass, it's mine." Good to know.

My camera is still in my pack, which is still sitting on the living room floor where it landed when we got home last night. So I'll upload some pictures later, when I get around to the unpacking.
| posted by Barbara | 7:39 PM |

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I often get good ideas while I'm driving. This is dangerous, as I'll either rummage in the glove compartment for some paper and a pen in order to jot down the idea...or I'll make a mental note of it and then wonder later exactly what it was that I was supposed to remember.

I had a moment like this while driving to work on Monday morning. Two memories came together in my mind, as a great link to some things I've been thinking about lately. It was going to be this great little personal essay with thoughts about missions, what's going on in my heart right now, all illustrated nicely with a couple of little humorous memories.

Then I got to work and discovered that I'd left my laptop at home. ARGH. I did what work I could, sans computer, and then turned around and made the commute again. In the midst of all this, I completely forgot my grand idea.

I didn't even remember that I'd had a grand idea until yesterday, so I figured it was gone completely. It bothered me all day. I kept telling myself it couldn't be such a great idea if I couldn't remember it. But I knew I had been onto something at least.

Then I woke up at 5:00 this morning and remembered. Victory. I turned on the light and wrote down some notes before going back to sleep. I've gotten started on writing, and it's not the stellar, perfect idea that my mind made it out to be, but I've got something going and it feels good. Now I don't feel like such a slacker when I bug other people to write something for the YAF newsletter...
| posted by Barbara | 8:14 PM |