29 April 2008

Success - sort of

Here are some photos from our gold panning expedition. It is one of the really beautiful parts of the country that looks like Ireland. We found a few flakes which for us was very exciting. The president of the gold panning association who took us around said the water was high and we wouldn't really find anything. I don't know what he finds normally but we were happy with anything. Luckily the sun came out or I don't think I would have found anything without the sparkle. I don't have a picture of the tiny bits - not sure it would really show up in a photo. It was fun though. I think my dad and Dar are instinctive treasure hunters.

16 April 2008

Bateador de Oro

I learned a new phrase this week. You see, my dad arrives Friday for a visit and he came up with an interesting idea. He wants to explore a gold-panning area. Apparently in the north the Romans did a lot of gold mining and people still pan there. So I learned bateador de oro which I'm not totally clear on but I think it means a gold panner.

This is something so completely unusual and off the beaten tourist track that it will be interesting. Dar pointed out that the Spanish came to the new world looking for gold and now my dad is coming back to raid the Old World for their gold. Something funny in that.

It will only be for the weekend, then we'll tourist around here more with Dad and be in the office. He's going to try to finish some work the church started when they were here last fall. So I'll be playing tourist and hostess next week...and gold panner. (Is that even a word/phrase??)

11 April 2008


I wondered recently about how much we affect (or is effect?) ourselves by the way we think about things. I know for myself that in any given situation I can be prone to see the negative, but I'm training myself little by little to see the positive things that are going on too - even if they are small. This helps me have a better perspective. So can I convince myself that things are positive that I have thought of as negative?

I use as an example cooking. I'm a decent cook and I'm often called on in our life here especially to fix meals for people or bring a dish to something. Sometimes Dar steps to the plate and will fix something or help chop or get something going for the church dinner. (Hopefully tomorrow he'll help chop things for the crock pot.) He doesn't really like to cook but will do a recipe now and then.

The thing is I don't really like to cook. I can. I do. I like to eat and I like us to live cheaply...so I cook. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a certain food and then I get into making it. And I'm even beginning to have moments where I become my mother and I realize I like the way I make "whatever" better than the restaurant I'm in. How can that be happening already??

But could I convince myself that I like to cook? Is it just perspective? I think maybe it's not so bad but I tire of constantly thinking: what can we have? do we have the ingredients for X? We need to get X for the potluck? etc. What if I only cooked things I really, really wanted to eat? (Part of brain is saying - yeah but the time!) It's the quantity of time that gets me along with wanting something good which takes time to make. Ahh. Plus it's a never ending cycle. I suppose this is why I love leftovers. Food with no financial guilt and no cooking hassles.

04 April 2008

Rest and Rejuvenation

What do you do to rest? Not just sleep but deep down relaxation that involves more than just sleep. I've felt for a few weeks that I'm bone tired. Nothing to do I'm sure with two projects that involved 12-13 hour days. Other than daylight savings time which was last weekend, I'm resting well at night. I've even gone to bed early a couple times. So physically I'm alright.

It's my brain that's tired. I took a day last week and tried to just meditate and evaluate what is important in my life and schedule, and of course for prayer. That day has helped a lot. I've felt closer to my old self since then even though I wasn't really able to resolve - what should my priorities be right now etc.

I had seen/heard several things in a week about lingering before God, or being still and waiting before God, those kind of themes. I realized that this is hard for me and my personality. It's almost a discipline for me to try to sit quietly and just concentrate on God and hearing him. I can talk to him...yeah I can talk a lot. It's the listening that is a challenge. When I'm too busy my brain can't stop and listen.

Of course times get busy but other times aren't as hectic and those are the times that I need to discipline myself to be still before God. The little bit I was able to do was refreshing. It's too easy in busyness to lose track of God and the important things in life. In crazy busyness, which we all have at times, it's all you can do just to survive and you can't rejuvenate.

I also need to restore my creativity. It feels a little sapped and not because I've been so terribly creative. It's just a part of me that needs more energy again. How do you nourish that part of you? Maybe I need to exercise my creativity with something different than video projects.

So what do you do that rejuvenates you? I know laughter always helps me - anyone seen a funny movie lately? I've been in the mood to go to the movies but haven't got organized to figure out where and what and when. Reading blogs and reconnecting with everyone feels good too - it reminds me that life is bigger than the current conundrum. (Do I get some kind of weird blog points for using that word??)