orientation, part one

This is where we live.

This is the sidewalk across the street from where we live. Those are olives.

This is the olive tree across the street from where we live.

This is Birdy, wondering what we are doing when it's nap time and clearly time to go inside and find a bed.

These are the figs that live in the fig tree across the street from where we live.

This is one of the three domes on the old observatory (now an archeology lab) across the street from where we live next to the fig and olive trees.

farmer's market

Posted by Picasa

On Saturday, Ben, Birdy and myself went to the farmer's market a few streets over from the University. It was fairly small, but there was a lot of good stuff there. I got some spinach (for free!), potatoes, these apricot hybrid things that are delish, green onions, three samosas, and these tiny, incredibly tasty grapes (see photo for proof of tiny-ness--my hands are small, so keep that in mind too). AND, it was all for less than $10. Booyah.

With this, we've:
dad chicken caesar salad
grilled potatoes with our bbq
apricot thingies and grapes for snacks for several days
eaten the samosas
dreamt about next Saturday and eating more samosas

To be honest, the samosas didn't last more than an hour after they were purchased. There was a tiny Indian woman at the market selling naan, curries, samosas and other tasty things. She kept giving Ben samples of everything she was selling...he nearly got a full meal out of it. We both bought the samosas, which are fried dumplings filled with potatoes, peas, spices, and deliciousness. Birdy also loved them, which meant less for me.

I saved one for when we got home, and proceeded to eat it and watch Bend it Like Beckham, a movie about an Indian girl from England who plays soccer and ends up at Santa Clara. It was only fitting.


ready or not

The bells are ringing at the mission church calling people to Mass right now.

Mass begins at 12:05 each day, and I'm thinking of attending. I'm not Catholic. My mother once was, and my best good friend Brianna now is. I don't have plans for becoming Catholic. However, the idea of being with a group of people coming together for the same purpose really appeals to me right now.


My parents just left for the 13 hour drive home, Birdy is asleep and The Hoosband is at work. Or getting the car smog checked. Or something. Anyway, I'm alone in the apartment. I am really proud of myself--instead of wallowing in sadness and crying in bed, I began cleaning and putting our stuff away and getting our house closer towards being our home. As I was silently crying and wiping the table off, I realized that with that action--recognizing my sadness but deciding to do something productive instead of something indulgent--I fully became an adult. And now, more than any other time, I'm ready for that. I don't have family near by, or friends here. I have me. I have my little family. I'm going to be Ma (who never seemed to cry in the Little House books, but I'm sure that she did from time to time. Being a pioneer is hard). I'm going to take care of me and my little family. And I'm actually looking forward to that.

This last week has been a lot of fun and a lot of work. We've been to Ikea (YESSSSSS!!) and bought two items of furniture from the as-is section (oh sweet sweet as-is section--your small imperfections and hardware issues are no match for my father) along with some plants, some storage items, a pan of cinnamon rolls, a pot holder (the pot lids go on the wall now!) and a picture frame. When I say "we've bought," I mean my parents did. Those two are my favorites. :-)

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, and my parents, Hoosband, and Birdy and I went to the Monteray Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row (STEINBECK HEAVEN), and had a very nice and quite fancy dinner on the way home.

The Monteray Bay Aquarium is amazing--if you have the chance to go, it's worth it, even with adult prices being $30. The funny story about that is that we thought the prices were about $17 according to our guidebook. The book was, upon further inspection, published in 2003. We discovered this after we had driven an hour to oogle at the fishies, so we were kind of locked in to our choice. The price was made totally worth it when Birdy walked into the Outer Bay exhibit. You come in to a circular room, with a giant round aquarium above you. There is a school of herring swimming around the ceiling. Birdy, who doesn't have a lot of words yet, walked in and said, quite clearly, "oh, wow!" It was wicked sweet. The picture here doesn't do the room justice, but gives you an idea of what it looked like. The other nice thing about the aquarium was that many of the tanks went all the way down to the floor, so little kids like Birdy could still see the fish.

Back to the making the house a home thing--I was working on our kitchen and noticed that the only people we have pictures of on the fridge are the Cory family on our wedding day, The Hoosband's grandma and her husband, and wee Harrison. We love us some Cory family, but we have other friends we'd like to see every time we go in to the kitchen. Thus, I have a boon to ask of you, dear reader. Would you be able to mail us a photo of you and yours? We are far away from home and your smiling faces would make us feel closer. If you are interested, sent me an email at heather[underscore]brackett[at]hotmail[dot]com and I'll send you our address. Please replace the items in the brackets with the actual punctuation.

More to come, complete with pictures, in the following week.


brianna gets married

My best good friend Brianna got married on July 3rd. My mom, dad, Birdy and I went up to Canada (my first trip!) to witness the nupitals. Birdy and my mom were outside for the ceremony because someone was hot and grumpy. I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I think you can guess who. Also, if someone could please explain why I feel a need to make stupid faces when ever someone is taking a picture of Brianna and me, please let me know.

birdy finds the pond

I went home to visit over Father's Day weekend, and Birdy, my mom and I went to explore their upper pond. It ended with Birdy dirty all over and wet most every place else, which I think
marks the experience as a success.


wedding fun

First, let me state for the record: my friend Jill's wedding was awesome. I loved the people, the good times, running errands, sleeping in a residence hall, and making new friends. I even learned how to walk down stairs in heels!

Second: I have never been so hot in my life.

Third: I repeat everything I said in the first statement.

Because technology rocks my socks off, I stole some of the photos that my friend Katie took of Saturday's events to repost here.


nothing like a long walk

Back in the day, when the Israelites esca-pated from the pesky Egyptians with Moses (and aren't those Egyptians always pesky in the Old Testament? They're like the mean older brother of the Israelites), God let the Israelites on the desert road. There was a shorter way to get where they were going, but God knew that if the people went the shorter way, they might encounter something they weren't ready for. And, in encountering it, they might change their minds and go back to Egypt.

So, in the interest of, um, their best interest, God did what was best for them: took them on a long walk on the desert road.

I get the feeling that I'm on the desert road most of the time. And that, I feel, doesn't speak well for me. If I'm not getting the things I want or doing the things I want to do...that means that I'm probably not ready for it. Moreover, it might also mean that it's what I want and what I want to do, not not what God wants or what God wants me to do. What I think it comes back to is that I'm more focused on what I want, not what's best for me. Sigh. That kinda sucks.

Are you on a desert road, waiting for what you really want?

Wondering why God isn't giving you the things you want, or why the road is so much harder than you thought?

Check out Jon's post on the desert road and let me know.


the good, the bad, and the annotated list

Awesome things that have happened since Friday:
1. My best good friend Brianna got married.

2. I went to Canada for the first time ever. To celebrate, my parents bought 3 giant things of booze at the Duty Free (okay, it was just a good deal, not necessarily a celebration).

3. We've been in the hot tub nearly every day.

4. I've got my Birdy Cuddle Index maxed out.

5. We had italian sausage sandwiches last night and everyone really liked the sauce I made.

6. My parents got a brand new washer and dryer. They are about as quiet as you'd imagine a whispering unicorn to be, if you had ever imagined a whispering unicorn.

7. I found out our new apartment has not only a new washer and dryer, but a dishwasher too. It's okay. You can be jealous. I don't mind.

Not so awesome things that have happened since Friday:

1. My parent's washer broke big time at 7:30 on Sunday night. A mad scramble ensued, and a new washer and dryer were in by 11pm that night. The previous washer and dryer were older than my brother, so they've earned a rest.

2. Birdy keeps dunking herself in the hot tub. That girl has no fear.

3. I haven't been able to drink coffee with Randi. Boo.

4. Chloe, the Super Bitchy Family Dog, has growled and lunged at Birdy already. No one feels that bad for her being on the other side of the baby gate.

5. Brandon left on Saturday. :-( (this one counts as two entries on the list)

6. Birdy has forgotten the joy of an early bed time and sleeping through the night.


on death and grace

I've been having a debate with myself today since 10am. I've been wondering if it's easier to be brave while living or to be brave while dying. Yes, we are all dying, and yes, we are (especially if you are reading this) all living. But are we living with every good intention? Are we living with honor, and humility, and thankfulness?

If we are dying, and we know we are dying, doing things with kindness, honor, humility and thankfulness might be easier. We are blessed with the knowledge we are dying, and so making those conscience choices to be a better person are put into perspective. We know that helping someone out is worth the effort, even if it means we being generous with our time or our money. It's easier to overlook the snarky comments and glares because we know that we can't waste a moment on not giving grace.


Life is hard.

Living a good life is even harder.

Living while knowing you are dying...that is probably the hardest of all.

This internal debate was brought on by a phone message left by a friend this morning. Her mother passed away this past Friday.

Her mother had been diagnosed with a debilitating and degenerative disease in 2006. Her whole family knew this diagnoses was, for lack of a better word, a death sentence. You can't come back from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Like being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, you know your days are numbered.

And my friend's mother has been living her life with kindness, honor, humility and thankfulness. That is bravery. Getting up every morning and feeling a little worse than the day before? I can't imagine what that is like. Getting up every morning feeling a little worse than the day before and looking at that day as a blessing? Gosh. I can only hope to live out my days like that.

And so, dear friend: we love you, and admire your mother. I am inspired by the life your mother led, and believe that many other people are as well.


"the time has come," the walrus said

This is it. My last day in Pullman.

Please imagine a high five and a "see ya later" coming your way.