Monday, January 31

that little phrase

My family still doesn't have help with my grandparents on the weekends, so last night it was my job to help grandma get to bed. It's funny, how taking care of them has become less of a "burden", and just more of part of my daily life. When they need lunch i make them lunch, i help my grandma paint her nails, i make grandpa his evening drink. Instead of caring for them being what i have to do, it's just what i do. We all live together, and right now i can't see myself doing anything else here. And when i'm not being yelled at (which is becoming less frequent, thank the Lord), it's almost pleasant. Of course there are other things i'd rather be doing...but that's not what life's about. And God is working in them, i think. They're both strict Catholics, as i've said before, and every once in a while we see a glimpse of some real understanding of the Lord in them.
So last night i needed to get grandma to bed. It's not a difficult task...once you know how to handle her, but it's a long one.
Mom said she was pretty much ready for bed...she was just doing little last-minute old lady things..."futzing around", as she put it. I walked into the bathroom to find grandma sitting in front of the mirror dressed in her nightgown, combing her hair with her shaky, delicate hands.
I asked if she was ready to go to bed. To which the answer was a 2-3 minute deliberation on whether or not to take her teeth out before she did so. She finally decided not to. So i helped her out of her chair, and mentioned that she should probably try to pee first. She said she didn't have to go. But it wouldn't hurt to try. Okay, she'd try.
I helped her sit down and all that. She lifted up her legs, her right one shaking much more than the left, as usual. She commented about how swollen her ankles were. "It's just awful", she lamented. I said that the sooner she got in bed and got her feet up the sooner the swelling would go down. She agreed, and i said,
"Just try to relax and pee, okay? I'll be back in a few minutes."
"okay, dear."
So i went and brushed and flossed etc. That took about 3-4 minutes and i went back to check on her.
I passed my snoring grandpa and poked my head in the bathroom door.
"How you doing grandma?"
"Oh, not too well. I'm afraid i didn't go at all...i just didn't have to."
"Well that's okay," i said and went to help her up.
As i fixed her nightgown, she mused, "I could have sat there until..." and she paused, thinking of what to say.
Suddenly we both said, at the same time, "...kingdom come."
and we had a little giggle.
Grandma continued to ponder the words. "...kingdom come...i wonder where...that came from...that little phrase..." she said half to herself.
I thought for a moment and as i stood her up straight i said, "maybe it means until the Lord comes back." and i began to lead her out of the bathroom.
She gave a little laugh. "Well," she smiled "that may be a while. Or maybe just don't know."
I smiled back, "no, you don't."
There was a small pause.
"I sure would be happy to see him." She said. "He's such a dear."
I just about lost it in silent amusement at my grandma referring to Jesus...God... as "such a dear", and turned out the bathroom light.
She continued as we walked to the side of the bed, "I don't know if I'd have the nerve to look at him."
I sat her down and smiled at her. "I don't think you'd be able to help it."
"No, probably not!"
And with that, the conversation promptly turned to taking her nighttime meds, taking off her slippers, and getting her comfortable in bed...and all the while grandpa snored away.
As she laid there looking up at me, i asked if she was comfortable.
"Oh, yes, darling. Thank you. I'm so grateful," she closed her eyes. As she opened them again, she looked at me, "I'm so thankful to have such a beautiful granddaughter." And she paused for a moment, "you really are beautiful," she said.
I gave her a sort of sheepish smile, "thank you, grandma," i said softly, "good night." I turned off the light.
"Good night, darling, thank you. God bless you."

5 minutes later, the call bell rang, and my mom and i went to their room.
"I think i need to go pee," grandma said to us as we stood in the doorway.
Mom looked at me with a knowing smile and asked, "could you help her, so i can get to bed?"
Of course i could.


Thursday, January 27


The snail.
Andrew is very talented, no?
here we are...and, as usual, i'll just let all know how i greatly dislike this picture of myself. I did promise it, though.
And we all look kind of weird.
the snail
oh well!
Click here for more pictures!
Some of them are quite, quite hilarious.

Tuesday, January 25

Frozen gut what you get when some of the the lights at the ice cream shop called Frozen Yogurt stop working.

Inspired by the latest post on Ross's blog.

Monday, January 24

Colleen Rennt...

I've been realizing more and more how i need to start getting regular sleep and exercise. I've also been realizing that there's never a "good time" to start. So yesterday i figured i'd start today. So what if my left knee is screwed up? so what if my poor toe is so red and swollen i can hardly fit it in a running shoe? I'm a terrible procrastinator, and i knew i'd keep giving myself excuses until july. That, and i kept picturing myself being in the same shape i was in in high school when i was on cross-country.

For some reason or other i havn't been sleeping well lately. It's becoming increasingly irritating.
Last night as i got to bed at MIDNIGHT (so early for me), i began fantasizing about how awesome it would be to get up and actually go running in the morning. I hadn't done so for so long...and i want SO badly to get beck into a routine again. So i set my alarm for 7:30 and rolled over and closed my eyes.
And i waited.
and waited
and waited.
Dad noisily opened the door at one point looking for the dog.
i still waited.
My mind would NOT stop racing! I kept praying to calm down...knowing i was only sabotaging by well-intended efforts to add some sense of order back into my life. But i just wouldn't stop thinking. So often i don't have that problem (; but not at night.
I set my alarm for 8.
I did sleep for a little while, until i woke up. go fig.
I found i had thrashed my bed to smithereens and tried in vain to untangle the mess of sheets and blankets on the floor. no use. i just threw them on top of me and tried to calm down.
Again, my consciousness wavered for a couple of hours...until Maela started barking. It was about 6. I was exhausted, but i didn't want her waking up mom, or my grandparent's helper who sleeps right next to the bathroom where Maela sleeps. So i got up way to fast and got really dizzy, went to the bathroom and picked her up. To my utter delight, she piddled on the floor as i hoisted her.
I went to the back door and let her out and closed it. She stood there looking at me throught the glass, her little tail wagging, eyes so forlorn. i knew she wouldn't go unless i was out there. So i stepped outside, careful to keep my fingers in the door so it didn't lock behind me. It was barely light out, and i was freezing in my bare feet. She went out on the vast lawn and peed. She also came bounding back and started jumping on my legs with her muddly paws and in a split second i released my hold on the door...
i was locked out. I think i may have actually cursed under my breath, and i reached over to the place where we have a key hidden. No luck someone had taken the key.
I stood there hugging myself and shivering, wondering what the heck i was supposed to do. So i walked around the side of the house and tried the other back door, the sliding doors, and came away defeated. I must have looked hilarious though, with my massive hair wild all around my head, ragged t-shirt, bare feet and scrunched up face, mumbling curses to myself.
My only choice was to wake up Sarah. So i tiptoed across the frigid wet lawn and knocked on her window...
I'm sure you can guess the rest. I put both dogs outside and left them there.
I wiped off my feet and crawled back into my disheveled bed...and set my alarm for 8:30.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnd i waited.
and waited.
But couldn't sleep.
I think i got maybe another half-hour. When i got up at 8:45, i felt like crap.
But i got some running clothes on, found a watch, drank some water and took off.

It was awful. And i'm not a wimp either, as my knee and toe had nothing to do with it. I just forgot how out of shape i was. In a way, though, that's what kept me going. and i did about 2 and a half miles in 40 minutes. Not what i had hoped, since this time last year i could run just 2 miles in way under half that time. I suppose the fact that the run back is slightly uphill the whole way also didn't help...but oh well. I can only improve from here...and that's good.

i guess that's it. hmmm.
still waiting on those snail pictures.

have a good week...

Friday, January 21

Welcome to Donut Snail

I can't decide if i haven't posted in a week because i have nothing to say...or because i have too much to say.
Most likely the latter it the better of the two reasons.
Actually, i'm sure it is.
In fact, scratch that first line.

I haven't posted in a while because i've had way too much to say.
That happens to me; i overload my psyche with too much consideration and internal conflict...and not always negative. Sometimes whan good things happen they can get your brain fireing off in the dark reaches of the night even more that something unpleasant.
And it backs up, i get irritable, and am subject to some anguishing mental constapation.
I'm sure there's no one out there who knows what i'm talking about. (;
Well, things are okay, and some things aren't.
The best thing...the Lord has been faithful to get me through my dealings with a dear friend, and i'm praying i'll follow it through. It's been such a weight off of my heart...and i know it's because of Him. I've had some wonderful times this week of fellowship, bonding (as much as i really don't like that word...that's what it was!), enlightenment, and encouragement.
On the other hand, some of my old haunts have returned, curiously...and are stronger than what i remember. I've been worrying about things i shouldn't and at times i feel like i'm sort of "cancelling out" the joys Jesus has been so gracious to give me. And that's been hard. I hate backing myself into these takes me so long to worm my way out again.

Anyway. thar 'tis.

In other news, Shephanim recorded on Monday, as is breifly described in Pip's blog, and that was awesome.
Pip and i visited Andrew at USC yesterday, and whilst on a guided tour by Andrew, i messed up my knee trying to keep up with two long-legged able-bodied men. But it was a good time, nonetheless.
We went to a screening of a student film by a friend of Andrew's, there were about 100 very artsy chic people there. i know Andrew had a blast. I'm not the biggest mingler...but i saw two people i went to jr. high with there, and that was pretty cool. Everyone got their own little brightly-coloured plush snails. we ate donuts and red vines. Andrew sculpted a giant snail and we took pictures with it...i'll post them when i get them. I won a giant brightly-coloured plush snail in a drawing. ___________@/
The film had snails in it, by the way.

Bible study was good tonight, too. We finish 2 Samuel next week...almost exactly a year from when we started!
What next? Who knows...

sweet dreams.

Saturday, January 15


deep in the heart of Pasadena...not 5 miles away...
this is going down.

Am i going?
no way. My sister, friends, family, wallet, etc. would never let me live it down.

Will there be cheezy skits and music?
oh yea. these people are so into this stuff, it's creepy.

Will any famous people be at ORC?
are you kidding? they got all the big names from the movie to come, just so you can pay a couple hundred bucks for a picture with one of them, and listen to their sappy stories on how fun the films were.

Will there be showcases with props, and items from the films?
sure. anything to show off whatever they can.

Will there be geeks at ORC?
heck yes...tons of book and movie freaks dressed as elves hobbits and orcs...even a few Gollums. now that's scary.

Does this look like something only insane obsessive LOTR geeks would attend?

Whould i ever go to something like this?

Do i wish i was there?

Friday, January 14

Post #'s the life

So, yea. I liked this film.
What i really need to do is see it again. The Royal Tenenbaums is still my favorite. and i didn't even come to a full understanding, or appreciation, of The Royal Tenenbaums until the 3rd viewing...when i could finally start really picking out Wes Anderson's tiny details, quirks and subtleties. And that's what makes it so wonderfully viewable...i've never gotten sick of it. Like The Princess Bride. It's tireless. Always fresh, somehow.
But you should see it, too. You might like it.
Or maybe you won't...and that's too bad.


Thursday, January 13

my precious

Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake
It belongs in a class all it's own. It fills you with wonder and splendour. It defies all fruitcake jokes...
And i enjoy it but once a year. The Collin Street Bakery Fruitcake. In all it's glory.

Perhaps it's because i grew up with it that it seems so magical to me. Maybe it actually follows the way of all fruitcakes. Maybe it actually tastes like pickled tripe...
But either i don't know better, or i don't care. Personally, i think it's just all around darn stinking good.
come on...
experience the magic.

Tuesday, January 11

Nothing can go wrong.

Holy expletive...
What a weekend. I can't remember the last time it rained this much.
Yesterday as my sister, Laurel and i were driving home from church, we were driving across an overpass that spanned Devil's Gate Dam, about mile or so from my house. It's funny, i never knew what it was called until yesterday because i never really paid attention to the fact that it was even there. It was usually dry.

As we were driving across in the pelting rain, our curiosity was aroused by a multitude of cars and people staring over the side. I ran to the railing, which reached my chin, and what i saw nearly took the breath out of me.
Devils Gate had burst!
No... it was overflowingand a waterfall the likes of which I had never seen where i live was plunging down into the green and golden gully blow. I looked around at the crowd of people pointing, taking pictures and videos. Cries of awe and fear and wonder filled the air around me, though they were nearly drowned out by the deafening beating of the water on the tender earth beneath it. The spray flying up made my eyes sting, and the force of air pushed skyward, helped by the rain and cold, chilled me to the bone.
Devil's Gate
See those hills in the upper right side, past the freeway? Just around the corner is my house.

What a glorious sight it even made the front page of the California section of the LA Times i think.
Anyway, of course Sarah immediately panicked because she HAD to have this in one of her films. So we called Pip and he was over in 15 minutes ready to do her bidding. While we waited for him, Sarah sat down and quickly tried to imagine a story to surround it. I got to stand in the rain and hold an umbrella over the camera, while Pip popped vitamin C and rubbed water off of his fake glasses.

It's still raining. There are mudslides and flooding everywhere on my street, and i hope our house will be okay. It's been here for 50 years so far! I don't think there's much to worry about.

Last night was a bad night...but strangely satisfying...maybe i'll post about it later.
sigh. There's a lot of screwy stuff going on this week. I hope i can make it through without breaking something...seriously. Please pray that i'll pray more.

I hope everyone's okay out there. (:

Saturday, January 8

Sour Punch

Tonight i cried for the first time in a while. Not for a week, anyway. i was at Pip's house and we were talking and making sweet melodies with a xylaphone and guitar. We started talking about someone i've been worried about for a long time...the one to whom the Dec. 23rd post referred. Before i knew it my face was wet and my hands were shaking. i'm not even sure what to say...except that it felt really good. To cry about it i mean. i've been wanting to for over a week, and i've been amazed at my inability to do so. I guess the time was ripe...on Monday it will be two weeks since i spoke to her. After seeing someone almost every day for the last 3 or so years, and being nearly lifelong friends...thats a long time. We prayed together before i left and it was comforting...ever feel like you've been hugged by Jesus? I prayed for her...but i still worry.
And i miss her.

Thursday, January 6

here 'tis

Here is the paper to which the entry below refers:

grandma's prayer

Grandma’s Prayer, December 2004

Around Christmas time, my mom gave my grandma a paper which had excerpts from a book called "Calm My Anxious Heart", about finding contentment in the Lord in the midst of struggle. The excerpts had to do with being thankful for what you have, not dwelling on things you don't have, or don't like, and worrying about things you can't change.
After a little while, my mom saw my grandma writing something on the back of the paper, and picked it up later when she wasn't at the table. The entire face of the page was covered in shaking lines, some so scrawled it was nearly impossible to read them. The Parkinsons has made it so she can hardly even hold a pen...much less write with one. I hadn't seen her write this much in years, and the fact that the writing becomes more and more illegible towards the bottom shows how difficult it was for her. If i can, i'll try and get a picture of it up here. I spent quite a time trying to get through it and type it up...but i have a knack for deciphering unreadable writing.
so here it is... capitalizations and punctuation as she did them...

This Day Lord, I am grateful for:

The Early Morning Light.
For the Day to come, and the day just passed
For THY PRESENCE, Lord, on my mind and heart.
In the Moments when I pray to You.
In your answer for small moments
Of need, and in the larger Pleas, which
Are answered in wonderful ways
The past times in my life when I had
Suffered by your loving kindness
When you have rewarded my patience
And my prayers. Abundantly! I am so
Grateful, Dear God.
May my infirmities be of a Progression
To you.
May I face all of them as a Manifestation
Of your Healing Hand.
May you keep me, guide me and guard me Lord just for
Thank you for my Family. They try so hard
To help us.
I pray to Thee, to let them know how very
Much we Love Them
In Thee and with Thee in the spirit of the
Holy Trinity we THANK Thee Lord God.
Now & Forever.

Tuesday, January 4

we hereby decree...

As is our lot, whilst living alongside two elderly toddlers, we have had to devise creative ways of stabilizing any sort of civilized co-habitation in our lovely dwelling. And hence, the wall contracts were established, as both keepers of order, and as a reminder to those weak in the memory department, of their past accordances. Once signed, they are at once permanent and binding...provided the signee has any recollection of writing their name at all.
Not to mention they also provide a bit of comic relief every time one strolls through the kitchen.
the contracts
The one on the left, as you may observe, is also signed by my mother, proving that, she too, has the willpower to survive comfortably in a 75-degree environment.
Look for more to come, if need be...

Monday, January 3

113 years ago today...

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born.
Tolkien in his element
Happy birthday, professor! Thanks for having no fear of being yourself, and doing what you loved. I look forward to seeing you in person someday...

Sunday, January 2


A bit late in posting this, but here's the band playing at Beantown December 10th.
There's Pip, John, and me on the right...

here's Pip rocking the Korg...

and me rocking the casio...

Andrew is not in these pictures, unfortunately.
don't worry'll have your time to shine.