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"Let Me Settle With You"

 A faded grey sparrow's bright tune is abruptly interrupted by a strange sight. A young girl cradles a frog in her palm. Fear sparkles and falls from her eyes.  "Ought I to break your spell?" she asks the frog. "I could never bear to have you settle for me."  "Never would I settle for you! Nay, rather I yearn to settle with you!"  "But the first kiss may be unpleasant . . ."  The bird wonders over all this; at a pretty girl holding an ugly frog. It was clear that it wasn't so much she thought kissing this slimy thing would be distasteful, but that the creature would be disappointed by herself.  "It's not the first of which I dream, but each one that shall follow," the frog says.  "But . . ." Her lip quivers. "I'm such a horrid girl."  The frog croaks, "It is I that am the beast. Your kiss will save me."  The bird watches as the girl hesitates, fighting some uglier creature locked away, deep
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When The Shoes Run Away

Once upon a time, I wrote letters and I remembered people's names.  Last year I determined to do so again.  I want to be thoughtful; to put the right thoughts into my heart. Somebody told me, "How are you able to offer what people need if you're not putting yourself in other people's shoes?" Feeling misjudged, I wanted to retort, "But why must my own shoes not matter? Am I only to be judged by how I'm failing, my own insecurities disregarded?"  I never said those words, but I felt them for a long time. Bitterly. Part of me did want to be kind and understanding. But a large part of me wanted to be understood . And so, I stubbornly kept my worthless shoes on and refused to try on anyone else's.  (Isn't this a weird analogy? I mean who seriously wants to swap shoes? I don't want most people putting their feet into my shoes, I know. And my sarcastic self keeps thinking, "And it would be so pointless to try and walk around in some of thos

Three Year Update On My Quilt

Some of you may remember that I posted two years ago about a King sized quilt I'm doing all by hand. Last year I shared about the things I'd made in Germany, and gave a brief update on the quilt .  I started this quilt in February 2018, giving myself five years to finish it. We are at the three-year mark! And how lovely it is looking!!  Stitching in a German Church Four of the five finished strips I began to sew all the blocks together into strips in February 2019. September 2020 I was nearly done . . . just one strip left! I brought this strip to Germany with me, along with the final bit of lace to knit. I wasn't able to do a lot of sewing in the German churches, because many that I attended were the sort with dimmed lights and fancy smoke. But there were a few churches that I offered enough light for sewing ;)  Finished in the States Sewing in Germany while listening to some Jane Austen book— please tell me you don't notice the black speck on my teeth ;p Made and fi

A New Blog Name? Plus A Treat

  I never thought I'd do this, but I'm considering changing my blog name.  Over the course of this summer, working with my dad's campaign, and just being around a lot of Libertarians, I humorously penned the phrase social porcupine.  I've come to like it a lot.  I don't identify as Libertarian, but I do appreciate some of the thought. And the Porcupine mascot is just so adorable, not to mention symbolic! This cute little creature that means no harm . . . ah, but if you mess with it, then  . . .  well, you just better shouldn't have.  Yet, part of me doesn't like the stiff, selfish, don't encroach upon my bubble vibe it also can portray. "Don't tread on me" isn't all that hospitable. I once saw something I liked a little better: Don't Tread on Anyone.  Still, to me liberty isn't meant to be so individualistic, but rather a knowledge of who we belong to. Not to myself or to another man, but rather to something higher, namely someo

When The Hurting Hope

". . . then I hope she cheats  Like you did on me  I hope what goes,  comes all the way around  I hope she makes you feel  the same way about her  that I feel about you right now"  ~ Gabby Barrett - I Hope Mostly, I listen to music, not lyrics.  There are enough words in my mind.  But occasionally the words of a song penetrate my thoughts and I find myself either in love or pulling those words apart. Sometimes the words tormenting me aren't from just one song, but a splattering and meshing of many. And so I'm not really ever hating on one song, but on a single idea threading itself through them all.  "I hope you're feeling lonely baby  now we're not together." ~ Marsha Ambrosius - I Hope She Cheats On You I understand the sentiment of antipathy.  Nobody enjoys feeling used and thrown away. It's awful having that person as merely  "somebody that I used to know" (Gotye).   And yet. . .if you truly loved that person, how could you ever wi

Liberty and Goodwill

I believe dreams find reality through imaginative and innovative compromises.  As a young girl, I loved to barter at thrift stores. I would find stacks of books, of ten or twenty, and rarely pay more than a couple dollars. Some said I was addicted to the books. I did devour them nearly as quickly as I purchased them. But there was also a certain thrill to bartering that somehow added a certain glory to my books.  The better the deal, the better the read, it often seemed.  I think that I saw the world as I saw Goodwill, one of my favorite stores.  Everything and everyone tuned toward my dreams. The passage was wide, the path smooth. And the price? A single smile that charmed all toward my desires. The world truly wished me good will.  I saw life as our founding fathers must have, as they must have viewed what we ambiguously call the American Dream and its master, Liberty.  And then my world crashed.  Goodwill posted a notice, stating something along the lines of: “We no longer barter.

Interview With Other Au Pairs

Other people, "What is an au pair?"  Before Germany, I would answer, "Basically a nanny who doesn't get paid very much." During Germany, I would sometimes say, "A servant."  After Germany, I decided to actually look up what it was I had done. As an etymologist enthusiast, I'm surprised I didn't do this before I submitted my application.  au pair = on par with, from the French and means literally, on an equal footing.  Of course, that is merely the definition and origins of the phrase. What is an au pair actually?  Face value: An au pair is a young person (male or female) between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six who, wishing to learn more of another culture, goes to live with a family. In exchange, they will help with the children and light chores and receive a small pocket allowance that is not to be considered wages. It is standard for them to work four to six hours a day, and they shall work not more than thirty hours a week. They are to h