Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas '09

It's been a while since my last post, but I promise I have a good reason. You see, I was spending a wonderful week with my family. Then, BJ and I tackled a 14 hour road trip in one day with an 80 lb. dog and a puppy (we rock!). After that, I got sick with flu-like symptoms for a few day, but now I'm all better. Of course, in the midst of that, we've been trying to house train a puppy who is scared of cold weather in Kentucky.

With a new puppy in tow, it didn't take long for Christmas '09 to become the Christmas of our dogs. Here is a photographic journey through our time in Texas.

My parents have very high ceilings in their house, so we always get really, really big trees.

A lot of the week revolved around Zoe (big surprise, right?). For example, in this pictures she is being held by my Aunt Paulette. We have spent this week at home trying to teach Zoe that puppies who are going to grow into 130 lb. dogs can't lay on people in chairs. She prefers the rules at Grandma's house.

My family opens presents on Christmas Eve night.

I got a necklace from Anthopologie that I've been wanting for a very long time. I got it with a puppy in my lap.

Gus doesn't really care for the chaos of Christmas Eve night.

In fact, overall, it was a pretty rough week for Gus. Although I'm conviced he is going to love Zoe, I'm having a hard time convincing him of that fact. I remember this happening when we got him. It took a while for Sienna to warm up to him. Unfortunately, I'm not very differentiated from my dogs, so by Christmas Day, I'd decided I'd make Gus like his new little sister. So I made them cuddle. For about an hour.

He looks like he's reach new depths of emotional depression.

Fortunately, there were a lot of people sitting around who like to pet Gus. So he went and hid in between the guys while they looked at cars on the computer. Daddy petted him for a very long time.

Unlike Gus, Zoe was pretty much happy the whole week. Why? Because she's a puppy, so life's pretty good.

By our last day in Texas, Gus was learning to just hide from Zoe. You know the saying, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? I think he decided it was best he kept his distance. In this picture, he is taking refuge behind Bro's feet under the breakfast table.

Other than Gus, the rest of us had a wonderful week. He's going to be okay, though. The Monday after we got back, he herded Zoe to the back door from the very back of the yard. He seemed to have a good time, but she was pretty much freaked out by it. Oh well, we are all learning as we go.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Meet Zoe

Well, BJ won. He found the biggest puppy. And he got her.

Her name is Zoe, and she is a pure-bred, blue-merle Great Dane. As you can see from this next picture, she's a big girl. And she is just going to get bigger.

And guess what?

We are totally in love. I'm pretty sure she is one of the three best puppies ever. Of course, that is just my humble opinion.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting Pretty for Christmas

I just dropped Gus off for his first ever professional grooming appointment. We wanted to get him groomed before the onslaught of burrs awaiting us in Texas.

A grooming appointment at this particular groomer consists of several things. First, he will get his hair cut with strict instructions to leave the hair over his eyes so that he isn't completely traumatized. Next, he gets a bath in which he will soak in a medicated oatmeal shampoo for ten minutes to help with the dry skin he gets every winter. After that, his toenails will be clipped and his ears cleaned. For the rest of the afternoon, he will get to play with the other dogs and go for a walk.

When I was telling my brother about Gus's spa day, he said, "That's going to be the worst day of his life, isn't it?"

Yeah, probably.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The search is on

We don't like having only one dog in the house. We are a two-dog kind of family. So the search is on. We are looking for the next puppy. Since I won't be workin for two weeks due to the holidays, we are hoping to get a puppy in Texas as it will give us more time to train. Also, all of our dogs have been Texans so far, so why not keep up that little tradition?

My dad, who happens to be a Classifieds-junky (meaning he reads them everyday whether or not he is looking for anything), has been busy looking for us a puppy. He is also good at networking. He has got friends and friends of friends asking about puppies.

My brother, who happens to have an opinion on everything, has decided we need either a basset hound or a catahoula leopard dog. He is in a search for one of these dogs. I don't think you could pick two more different breeds.

Mom is staying out of all of this. As far out as she can possibly be.

BJ is just set on getting the biggest dog he can find.

As for me, well, you know I'm going to love any puppy that is plopped in my lap. In fact, while I've been looking at puppies on-line, me heart has broken at least a thousand times due to the overwhelming cuteness that causes me to fall immediately in love. Puppies are so cute it seriously hurts me a little bit.

Of course, whatever puppy we get will in all reality be Gus's puppy. He needs another dog more than me or BJ. He's lonely, and he has whined more in the past week than I have ever heard him whine in the previous almost 3 years we have had him. Hopefully, in about a week or so, I will be posting a picture of our new puppy. I have no idea what it we be, but I have a funny feeling we will all love it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I haven't lost a pet since I was a kid, so I wasn't sure what to expect. So far, it's just hard. Life feels uncomfortable right now. When we go home, everything is off kilter.

Gus seems lost. He keeps doing that thing he does to let us know he needs out, but when we let him out he just sits on the patio and stares off into the distance. In fact, we've had to go outside and walk around with him the past few days just to get him to do his 'business'. He's restless because he has no one to play with. We would play with him, but we don't know how. He isn't the kind of dog you play fetch with. He's the kind of dog who wrestles with another dogs. He's never been without another dog.

Everywhere I go in our house, I am reminded of her. She's left her mark everywhere, and I can't bring myself to clean it up yet. Her kennel is still out with her pillow. Her hair is still everywhere (Labs shed more than just about any dog). She snuck a tennis ball into the house Saturday morning that I almost tripped over. And, of course, every picture I have hanging in our house of me and BJ has Sienna somewhere in it, usually intentionally but sometimes just because she wandered into it.

Tony is even lost. He did something he never does yesterday: he cuddled with Gus. He always cuddled with Sienna, but never with Gus. I guess he figured if he can't have his favorite dog, he'd settle for the big-black-panting-dumb one. I'm pretty sure that's what he calls Gus.

And BJ...well, BJ just misses his dog, and there isn't a thing we can do about that. I think we are all going to have a few weeks of feeling out of sorts ahead of us, because, despite her whining and horrendous gas and bad breath and all those other weird dog things, we all really loved her.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Sad Day

This morning, Sienna passed away. She had been in a lot of pain due to sever hip displacia, so we decided that the most loving option we had was to have her put down.

All I'm going to say is that she left us with a lot of happy memories (many of which sprinkle this blog), and our home is feeling not quite right this morning. We miss her very much.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ta Da

We have the tree. And it is really magnificent. Or at least it is as magnificent as a small, 5 foot tree can be.

We decided to take a picture in front of the tree. Unfortunately, we are taller than the tree, and I set the camera too low, so you can't see the tree and it looks like a star is coming out of BJ's head.

For our second try, we set the camera higher. I decided this should be a romantic shot. Instead, the camera timer took longer than we were expecting and we ended up in this rather uncomfortable pose for several more seconds than was convenient or romantic.

In the third shot, the star is growing out of my head. At this point, I decided to leave well enough alone.

As is tradition in the Pierce family, I wrapped the first present as soon as the tree was completed.

Guess who it is to?

I just love buying that guy presents.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Season

I'm back after a week and a half of not blogging (that's a long time for me). We had a great Thanksgiving with BJ's family. A few weeks ago, BJ's mom bought the family a Wii, so we were pretty well entertained the whole holiday. I scored a 233 in bowling, so I consider it a very successful holiday.

Tonight, BJ and I are putting up the Christmas tree, so hopefully I'll have pics in the next few days. All I can think about this morning is how three weeks from today I'll be pulling into Menard! It has been nine months since I've seen my home, so I can't help being horribly homesick. I'm so ready to sleep in this bed...

and stay up late talking to this guy...

and give this guy a big hug...

and cook all day with this lady...

I know those are really old pictures, but they're all I've got right now. And you get the point. I miss my family and my old house, and I can't wait to get to Texas.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A tired little man

Ever had one of those mornings?

You know. One of those mornings after a long night of sleeplessness when you just don't want to face another long day. When your eyes are fluttering shut, and you can barely keep the sleep away. And to make it even worse, your mother thinks it's cute and keeps taking pictures of you.

Yeah, one of those mornings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gus's new thing

Gus is a friendly dog. In fact, I am convinced that if humans would be even half as friendly as Gus, the world would be a remarkably better place.

Gus is also a sociable dog. If you come to our house, he will be excited to meet you. That is, after he has barked so loud he has scared you half to death. But it is only because he loves you. Even if he has never met you before, he loves you. I think Jesus would like that about Gus.

We are blessed not only with a very nice dog, but also with a very nice neighbor named Tom. Tom and Gus are friends. I don't know when it happened, but Gus managed to sneak over to Tom's yard enough times in the past year to establish a bond.

So this is Gus's new thing. Gus never runs off, but he does occasionally disappear for about thirty minutes when I let him out for his morning business. And I recently discovered where he disappears to. He goes on walks with Tom. They go on morning walks in the corn fields behind our yard. Why? Because Gus is the kind of dog you take on walks without a leash, and he just quietly keeps you company. He may nudge you around a little bit, but that is only to herd you in a better direction. Don't ask what makes it a better direction; it just is.

Dr. Beck (the chair of Psychology at ACU) did a blog post a few weeks ago about how the relationship between man and pets (especially dogs) is a reflection of the way things were meant to be in Eden. I entirely agree. There is something deeply good about Gus. He is loyal, kind, obedient, and unconditionally loving. All of these things make for a very good dog and a very good friend. So if you are feeling blue or people are being mean to you, come over to our house. BJ and I may not help very much, but Gus will make it all better.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A little stupid

Yesterday, BJ and I overheard a conversation between some church members in which they talked about a long-deceased woman named Sunshine. Her real, on-the-birth-certificate name was Sunshine. Here is the conversation that followed in the car as BJ and I drove home later that night.

Me: Sunshine is a cool name. But I think I would rather be called moonlight (said in my mock sexy voice).
BJ (in his effeminate voice that he and his friend Josh reserve for their most politically-incorrect moments): I want to be called Starspunk.

I have no idea where he comes up with these things, but please, the next time you see BJ, call him Starspunk. Really, he likes that name.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Just so everyone know, the world is not that bad of a place after all. I have seen the sun four days in a row. After the month that was October, that is nothing short of a miracle.

Apparently, KY usually gets 3 inches of rain in October, and we got something like 15 inches this year. 15 inches in one month! So all you people in Texas, be grateful for the abundance of sun and the longer days. It is truly a blessing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Eeyore Moment

I am feeling generally blah. It has nothing to do with anything going on in my life. Instead, it is due to the weather. I have seen the sun about once in every five days for the past month (or two). It is getting really old. So I'd love to write a nice blog post, but I'm too hum drum to think of anything. I'm a Texan, and Texans should probably not live in places where the sun only exist about twenty percent of the time. It is just wrong.

Supposedly, the sun is going to come out on Monday. I'll believe it when I see. Excuse the pessimism, but I've been disappointed more than once by unfulfilled promises from Yahoo Weather. But if it is sunny on Monday, I'll write a really cheery blogpost, one that will make your day bright and wonderful. If it isn't sunny, I'll probably write a blogpost on decay, depression, the fallenness of the world. Either way, it would probably be best to skip reading that blogpost all together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The car that never dies, but comes awfully close

BJ has been driving the same car for a very long time, much longer than I have actually known him. This car has, to put it mildly, seen better days. Here is a quick list of everything that is broken/damaged/decayed on this little Acura Integra:

1- tree damage: smashed in side panel, broke plastic around side view mirror, cracked windshield, dented top of car (this happened when a tree fell on the car during the ice storm in January).
2- paint worn away to steal on top of car
3- no door handle on driver's side
4- can't put license plate on front of car because the bolts are rusted solid
5- car won't idle right and the throttle bounces up and down (this makes me feel really cool when he comes to pick me up at work)
6- heater doesn't work
7- AC doesn't work
8- rear-view mirror is held on by electrical tape
9- hole in driver seat and enough padding missing that the steal frame shows through
10- dash lights only work part of the time
11- automatic seat belt on the driver's side doesn't work so it is unplugged in the right place
12- rear windshield washer doesn't spray
13- rear windshield defroster doesn't work
14-sometimes the turn signal indicator light on the dash doesn't work. It still makes the clicky sound, though.
15- board over the spare tire in trunk has fallen apart, so everything you put in the trunk falls down by the spare tire
16- when you turn the car on during a rain storm, water rushes onto the passenger-side floor.

All of this, though inconvenient, has been bearable. Unfortunately, something else broke last night. When we got in the car to head home from church, the seat belt light start blinking red and a loud beep started going off. I have never seen/heard either of these things happen in my five years of riding around in this car. We both started to fiddle with our seat belts trying to make the really annoying beeping and flashing stop. Suddenly, awareness dawned on BJ. Due to problem number 11, the sensor that says the seat belt is locked has been bumped. Which means there is nothing he can do short of killing his car to stop it. The light and beeping are yet another quirk he is going to have to learn to live with. As BJ realized the constant irritation that is going to accompany every drive he takes in that car from now on, BJ started yelling "No" and hitting his head on the steering wheel in frustration. It was kind of sad. Except that I was laughing too hard to appreciate the sadness of it at the time.

For the record, I really love that old beat up car. I fell in love in that car. I told BJ I loved him for the first time in that car. We took our first long road trips in that car. It has a certain smell that immediately shoots me back five years to when I would get butterflies every time I got in the car of the boy I really, really liked. My heart will break (and no, I am not being over-dramatic when I say 'break') when we sell that car. I will weep sentimental tears of anguish and woe. It will be a monumental heartbreak. But until then, BJ has to drive around in a decaying car that beeps at him constantly. And that, well, that's just funny.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My fashion-forward soap box

I have been following The Sartorialist for over a year. It is a fabulous blog that chronicles street fashion. The photographer behind the blog, Scott Schuman, is rather mysterious. There isn't a lot of biographical information out there. However, today he did a post that shed a little light on him.

Due to stereotypes that are hard to ignore, I've always assumed that most of the men who frequent high fashion or who care at all about fashion must be homosexual. I know it is wrong to stereotype, but it is also really hard to separate the images we see in media from reality. So anyways, Schuman is an impeccable dresser who has an eye for both the beautiful and the avant garde in fashion. So I had thought he was probably...well, you know. But today, he posted a picture his girlfriend took of him. Which means the guy is straight. Which mean something else really, really important.

You are probably wondering at this point why I care, so here it is: if Scott Schuman can put that much care and thought into his appearance, so can other straight men. In fact, heterosexuality can't be an excuse for wearing nothing but cargo shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops. So BJ doesn't really have an excuse for wearing that ratty, torn mustard-yellow t-shirt on our first date (not that I'm holding a grudge or anything). So the cover of straight men everywhere is blown: they aren't fashionally annept due to their straightness, but instead, it is due to laziness and generally not caring. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, careless dressing became a badge of masculinity.

So that is my rant for the day. It is probably totally inappropriate, but I do enjoy a nicely planned outfit. I really do.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Predestination and Deontolgy: Just Another Date with BJ Gensic

BJ budgets every facet of our lives. Each penny has a purpose and a plan. (Since I'm married to a theologian, it is very tempting to insert a joke about predestination here. I'll refrain.)

Each week, we have exactly $20 set aside for 'date money.' This leaves us with few options. We either go out to eat, go to the movies and get a latte on the way, or rent movies and get ice cream. That's it. I don't like wasting this money on non-date activities. This week, we have been planning on a lunch date for today (Thursday) because we will be in St. Louis for part of the weekend and busy with church-related activities the rest of the weekend.

Unfortunately, I did a stupid thing yesterday that is jeopardizing my date life. Yesterday afternoon as I was leaving work, I forgot to grab BJ's sermon that I had proofed. This sermon, though good, has more than a few foibles that need addressing. Normally, forgetting such a thing on Wednesday is no big deal because we can easily go over it Thursday night, and he can fix it Friday, but this week we have been frantically trying to take care of business so that we can both leave work early Friday and hit the road. Which means he needs to fix the sermon today. Which means our lunch date has turned into a business meeting in which we will go over his sermon. Which means our $20 dollars of 'date money' is going toward us dissecting the theological implications of deontology. Which means life isn't fair, kiddos. It just isn't fair, so if you were expecting it to be fair, you are in for a world of disappointment and despair.

(I don't know how I just worked my way into bemoaning the unfairness of the world, but it probably has something to do with me being a depressing, pessimistic, and, quite possibly, bad person. But that's a whole other blog post for another day.)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

For the first time in my life, I maintained a flower bed this year. I wasn't good at it, but things lived for the most part. I have resisted cutting flowers and bringing them inside all summer because I liked the way they looked in the bed, but the lows in the coming week are in the thirties, so I figured I might as well cut away.

Being me, I didn't want normal flowers. Basically, I went through the seed packets at Lowes and picked the wierdest looking flowers. Here below is a cockscomb. It is a fuzzy, HUGE flower. this one is about five to six inches lengthwise.

Here's a close-up of the freak-a-zoid flower:

I've always loved zinnias, so I was really excited when I came across the seeds for candy cane zinnias. It's one of my favorite flowers with a twist! Here are some photos of the candy cane zinnias.

Hopefully, these photos will serve as reminders next spring that outdoor work is not the worst thing ever, and that it does in fact yield good results. I'm one of those people who could be perfectly content never leaving my kitchen and/or artroom. But these flowers are pretty, so I'll consider that incentive.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things

I was thinking this morning about how many wonderful things in my life brighten my day. I'm a person who tends to feel very passionately about anything I happen to like. I thought sharing some of these favorite things might introduce whoever reads this blog to something that will brighten their own days, so here are a few of the things I'm currently adoring.

1. NPR: BJ and I don't have any sort of TV plan. We just do without. I use to miss TV, but now I hardly think of it. This is mainly because NPR provides all the entertainment/news/education of TV but with better quality and depth. If you've never paid much attention to this radio gem, go to their website and listen to a pod cast of The Prairie Home Companion, Car Talk, anything Frank Deford does, or my favorite, Story Corp, a five-minute segment done every Friday morning at 7:30. I could list more, but these are a sampling of my favorites.

2. The Office and 30 Rock: On Friday evenings, BJ and I take our dinners into the computer room and watch the new episodes of these two shows. It is the perfect way to relax after a long week.

3. Anthropologie: I can't actually afford anything on this website, but I love to go look at it for the inspiration in provides. I especially love, love, love their jewelry. In fact, if you really loved me, you would go buy me this or this or this.

4. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett: This is the book I am currently reading. It is so engrossing. In fact, it is preventing me from doing a lot of things that are more important and/or urgent.

5. High heels and scarves: If I had to choose an outfit to wear everyday for the rest of my life, it would include my tan linen scarf with a teal flower and my navy blue, peep-toe heels. I don't care if it is impractical.

6. The Pioneer Woman: I never knew a blog could be as addictive or engaging as a book or sitcom until I began following this blog. I have gone back in the archives and read almost everything she's written. My favorite is Black Heels, a blog book she wrote about how she met and fell in love with her husband. She also has fabulous recipes (I've made a ton of them, so I should know), and she recently started the website Tasty Kitchen where other foodies can post their favorite recipes. I found one of the best desserts ever on this website, You Rock My World Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

7. Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: The best cook book. Just the best. And after learning only a few recipes, I've been able to do impromptu cooking with whatever ingredients I have that turn into lovely Italian dishes. This book really teaches you a foundation on which you can significantly expand your cooking repertoire.

8. The Sartorialist: This is a blog that chronicles street fashion in America and Europe. Although I don't wear all of these trends, I love following them. And the photography is beautiful.

9. Historic Properties: I love looking at real estate websites. When I'm bored or restless, real estate websites offer page after page of potential. Historic Properties is my favorite real estate website for obvious reasons, it is only old houses. One day, I want to buy a real junker and fix it up. This is one of my favorite daydreams.

10. Gus, Gus, and Gus: But you knew that already.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

To Texas and back

Last week, BJ and I traveled to Texas for BJ to attend the ACU Summit. As always, Texas delivered with a wonderful time. Here is our trip in pictures.

We started the trip in Alton because we had to fly out from St. Louis. I got BJ's mom to take a picture of I because I haven't really had pictures taken in the past three years. Here we are before taking off:

The dogs stayed with BJ's mom in Alton. This meant I had to say goodbye to Gus *sniffle*. But I had to get one good picture of Gus before I left to show the man at Nugent who gave him to us. Sienna, as is often her habit, snuck into the picture. She's a ham.

Upon arrival in Abilene, Josh and Allie picked us up and took us on a whirlwind trip to Lubbock to see there new house. While there, we played games. This is Josh reading the instructions while the rest of us daydream about gumdrops and jelly beans. Why gumdrops and jelly beans? Lets just say this game had really, really long instructions.

We took a quick group picture before we left. The guys were surprisingly cooperative about this picture. Maybe they're maturing? No, that can't be it.

Monday, my parents came up and took me to Waco. This is me a Bro walking around Waco. Actually, it is a totally staged photo we were forced to do for Mom's scrapbooking purposes.

This is the four of us taking a photo in his tiny, miniscule, walk-in closet size apartment. Maybe it wasn't that small, but it was really small. I like it.

When I finally settled in Abilene on Tuesday (two days before it was time to leave), I had a game night with the Gensics. I'm not sure what everyone is laughing about in this photo, but knowing the Gensics, it probably has something to do with bodily function.

And then, perhaps most importanty, I got to meet Emerald's precious daughter, Lily Vienne. She let me hold her for a solid 3 hours. Her fingernails are extremely small. I know that there are probably more significant things I could say about meeting her, but I really couldn't get over how small the fingernails are.

Lastly, here is a photo of the luggage the airport managed to ruined. They broke this zipper. Gotta love traveling!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Composing life

Stories matter. I'm twenty-four years old and rapidly approaching twenty-five. That has given me a quarter of a century to form my own stories, to collect moments that compose my life.

I started this blog over three years ago because my brother kept nagging me about it. There weren't any noble reasons behind it or a clear purpose. I was simply writing about life, about how I was learning to be a wife, how Sienna and Tony and then Gus were salting our life with countless moments of humor (or disgust), about mourning the loss of Grandma and struggling through the uncertainties of financial problems and employment, and during the good times, about laughing with my family and friends and growing into BJ's family. All of these stories and more are chronicled in my archives, my own virtual life-library.

I've been drudging through a rough patch here lately. Six months ago, I lost a pregnancy after only a few days of knowing. I thought the disappointment would pass quickly, but it keeps creeping up on me. Even though I've always wanted to be candid on my blog, I didn't post about this incident when it happened. I could think of no words at the time. But now I'm writing it down so that I have the story recorded.

Although I'm six-ish years into adulthood, I still catch myself gawking at just how hard and unpredictable this story keeps proving to be. Some days, when things are moving slowly, I shuffle through my blog archives. There are a lot of happy, funny stories there. They are good to read when life is heavy. There are also many times of difficulty. Those are also good to read. I am reminded that those times passed, and BJ and I stayed in motion, and as cliche as it sounds, we grew through those trials.

A constant theme in BJ's sermons is the role of story in Christianity. For me, stories in books, poems, television shows, movies, my blog, other peoples blogs, and in conversations with friends and family are all part of my faith just as the stories of the Bible ground that faith. They are all instructing me and accompanying me through life, and for that reason, I know that my current slump is not without hope and that God's mercy is active in moments even like these.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Random thoughts

I'm currently wearing a skirt that I bought in either late junior high or early high school. I'm wondering, does that make it old enough for me to call it 'vintage'?

We took communion to shut-ins Sunday after church. One of the older gentlemen we visited asked me where I live, and I said that I live with BJ down the road. At first he was shocked, but then he figured out that I was BJ's wife. His reaction: "I thought you were just 15 or something." Gotta love those freckles.

One week and one day until we head out to Texas!!!!!!!!!!! And some more exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got accepted to a creative writing program last week, but I couldn't decide if I should do it or not. So I made my friend, Kayla, decide. We've decided to postpone it until I feel more certain. All indecisive people should make at least one friend who is good at planning life.

I just spent the past hour reviewing BJ's sermon for the coming Sunday. I had worked on it earlier today for an hour, and it was one of those times when he was saying good things, but they were coming out border-line heretical. We got it fixed, I think.

BJ cut Gus's torso hair last week, but his leg hair, tail, and head remain uncut. He looks ridiculous.

Sienna's hips are getting really bad. It breaks my heart seeing that dog cripple around. I know I'm not supposed to like her, but I still love her. It just can't be helped. She's too pretty not to love.

Tony is still evil. BJ still hates him.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

What's up

Nothing has really been happening that merits a full blog post, but here is what's been going on in my life:

-This week I am wearing white shoes or clothing in mourning of the approaching Labor Day. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to have a Monday off of work, but Labor Day means summer is ending and the destruction of winter cometh. And it suddenly becomes taboo to wear my white wedge sandals and white pant, which makes me sad.

-One of my best friends from college is having a baby this week. She is my first close friend to get pregnant, and I really wish I could have been nearer during the past nine months. This is making Texas seem even farther away.

-BJ has recently started wearing his Sunday dress shirt, blue jeans, a belt, and dress shoes for Sunday night church. He came up with the new look all on his own, and I am really liking it. In fact, I'm liking it enough that I can't remember for the life of me what his sermon was on last Sunday night.

-Even though I usually look down on people freaking out when celebrities they never actually knew die, I found myself feeling really sad over Ted Kennedy's passing. For me, the Democrat party has a familial element to it. My dad raised me on the teachings of FDR and the New Deal and the Great Society. So yeah, I shed a few tears for the fierce advocate of those ideals.

-We had the youth group over to our house Sunday night. During a game where BJ and I had to go hide and the kids had to look for us, a few of our youth-groupers tried to manipulate our dogs into tracking us down with pleas of "Gus and Sienna, go find mommy." It didn't work. For once, our dogs' general denseness worked in our favor.

-I bought fresh mozzarella last night for our eggplant-parmesan dinner. It was expensive, but let me say, fresh mozzarella is so worth the extra few bucks. So worth it.

That's all for now. I know. It's pretty boring, but I do live in the middle of nowhere, so be forgiving.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Resolution

Because once a year is simply not enough time to pack in all the resolutions that need made in my life, my August resolution is: Will stop diagnosing myself based on internet articles and/or chat rooms. This can only lead to embarrassment during an actual doctor's appointment.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

6 ounces of chocolate + friends = a good thing

Two of my dear friends from ACU came down (and up) this weekend. We had a girl's weekend that was very, well, girl-y - in a feminist sort of way. It was awesome! Here are just a few reasons why I loved having them around:

-It was an excuse to make chocolate swirl cheesecake. This particular recipe had 6 ounces of baker's chocolate and a quarter cup of cocoa. I think I'll leave it at that.

-I was able to go see a chick flick and not feel guilty for dragging BJ to it.

-They already know all (or at least most) of my flaws, so I don't have to cover it up when I'm searching for my purse, shoes, keys, and cell phone all at the same time only to find them in four separate locations.

-They don't mind sleeping in the same bed, so they only dirty one set of sheets (score!).

-They help me get to know myself better. As it turns out, I'm a drama queen. Now I'm aware of that fact.

-When they get sleepy, they suddenly get worse at Scattagories, so I'm able to pull out one late night victory.

I could go one, but you get the point. They are awesome, and we had a lot of fun.

(To our Fat Tuesday friends, we really missed you all. Erin, we talked about how cute your new apartment is and how happy we are you found a good job. Carolyn, we talked about how great Josh seems to be and how you seem to be making a great couple. And Em, we talked about the baby, of course. We can't wait to meet her. Love you all!)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Whizzing with Gus

I few weeks ago, we stained our deck. During the 24 hour span that it took for the deck to dry, the dogs had to do their business in the front yard. That morning, I woke up early for work and let Gus out, only to be surprised in my very groggy state when Gus immediately ran to our monkey grass, straddled it, and peed. I found this hilarious. The next morning, I was curious if he would do the same thing if I took him to the front with my camera. As you can see below, he did:

Finding this odd behavior hilarious, I embarked on a weeklong morning ritual/photoshoot of letting Gus out in the front yard and seeing what he did. Here's what happened:

(that's a visiting dog in the background)
This particular blogpost is probably a pretty good indicator that I should get a life. I promise that if I ever have children, I will not subject you to any blogpost of this sort. I promise. But this is a dog, so who cares.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Family in Kentucky

I have gone way longer than is usual without posting, but I have a really good excuse. Mom, Dad, and Bro have been in town, and we have been packing a year's worth of activity into one week. It's been fun, but as always, it went way too fast. Mom and Dad drove off yesterday morning leaving me crying in front of a donut shop where we had preemptively drowned our sorrows in a breakfast of glazed goodness. Thankfully, Bro is staying on for another week.

This is by far the longest time Bro has ever spent in Kentucky. For the most part, he is enjoying the beautiful scenery and plethora of local jellies, but yesterday brought him face to face with a side of Kentucky culture that doesn't exactly mesh with our family. He was looking for a Time or Newsweek magazine in Mayfield, the closest town to Farmington. We went to Walmart where he thought he could surely find one. Instead, he found 18 different varieties of magazines on guns and one on knives, but no Time or Newsweek. For my pacifist-liberal-Democrat brother, this was disappointing to say the least. Thankfully, we do have the internet and it's wide range of non-gun realted news journals, so I think he'll make it one more week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My ever-eroding sanity

BJ is at church camp this week. I begged him not to go, but apparently, it's his job. So this is what happens when BJ leaves for a week:
  • My Twitter feed becomes dribble about the loss of sanity.
  • I miss church. I got caught up in a painting Sunday evening, and time passed without my noticing. I looked at the clock fifteen minutes after church had started. BJ is usually at a meeting before Sunday evening worship, but he always calls me at ten till to remind me to come.
  • The dogs bark twice as much as usually. Without the head of the pack at home, they feel they have to be extra protective. If the tiniest noise is made outside, they start barking like we're being invaded. See, all of us are losing our sanity.
  • I become paranoid about having my phone near me. The camp sight where BJ is has awful cell phone reception, so when he calls it means he made an effort to go find a spot with a bar or two of reception and he might not get a chance to call again for a while. Hence, my obsession with proximity to both my cell phone and house phone. I even take them to the bathroom with me.
  • Unsuspecting items in our home become renovation projects. I was fidgety last night, so I painted the bar in our kitchen lime green.
  • BJ's voice-mail box starts filling up with sappy confessions of loneliness and love from me. I haven't listened to classic country music all these years for nothing.
Needless to say, BJ needs to come home. We are a pathetic lot without him. All except for Tony. Tony is pretty happy with the current situation. But three outnumber one, so I think I'll just go leave one more voice-mail. Really, just one more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

three years

It's been three years since I tacked "Gensic" onto my name, and that means it has been three years of posts about ridiculous things BJ has said, Sienna's disgusting bodily functions, Tony's evilness, and Gus's sweet but stupid nature. It's been a good three years.

It has also been a tough three years. Being an adult can just really, thoroughly suck. I used to look at my father and wander what the world looked like from way up there. I wandered if the ground seemed far away. Of course, I figured it was pretty awesome.

One night, when we were sitting in the car waiting for Mom to come out of the grocery store, I naively mused to my father about how much fun it must be to be grown up. Dad said something to this affect: "Being an adult is hard and scary, and you should enjoy everyday you get to be a child." He's a cheery guy, isn't he? At least he was always honest with me, and I guess he tried to warn me.

This morning, I woke BJ up, whispered "happy anniversary," and set a card on his chest. It's a card made from recycled paper, which makes me happy. BJ's first words were, "Oh! I'm a terrible husband. I forgot to pick you up a card." He then proceeded to tell me "Happy anniversary" with morning breath. It was one of those moments that could only be endearing if you love each other despite it all. Despite having moved so many times you're still exhausted, or having fought the world, or having occasionally fought each other, or even knowing that you've seen the crazy in each other displayed in broad daylight.

So I guess here's another mushy blog post to add to the plethora of mushy blog posts in my archives. And here's hoping the Lord blesses us with another year of chaos sprinkled with mushy moments. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One for my homies down in Texas

(Take note: I am in fact cool enough to use the word homies.)

I have heard many jokes cracked by Yankees about how Texans are fat. Since I'm not a confrontational person, my general response to these jokes is to think to myself, "Have you seen the rest of the country?"

Today, I was reading an article about obesity in America, and I came across this eye-opening sentence: "A number of impoverished states — including Montana, Texas and New Mexico — have relatively low levels of obesity." That's right. We have a "relatively low" level of fatness. We may be fat, but we're not that fat when you start looking around the rest of the country.

I've decided that most of the insults thrown at Texas (and believe me, insulting Texas is a favorite pass time of people outside of the Lone Star State) are due to the inferiority complexes of other states. These kicks below the belt really have nothing to do with Texas, and they have everything to do with those who like to throw the insults. So people, don't hate us because we are relatively skinny. It's all the jalapenos burning calories within us.

(As a side note, my Mom is contributing to making Texas skinnier. She has officially lost 25 pounds this year! Go Mom!)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Because the paint was goopy and pretty

Last night, I shelled some fresh beans from my CSA and put them on to boil. I seasoned them perfectly with jalapenos, onions, and a little bacon. I then went to the living room and practiced the piano. I almost got distracted and let them burn, but I caught it just in time to add more water. After playing the piano, I went to the art room to finish my bird painting (the afore-mentioned bird painting that distracted me from cleaning house when I was preparing for company). In that room, I got really, deeply absorbed in a specific shade of orangy-sienna. It was beautiful. About 45 minutes later I noticed a funny smell coming into the art room. The beans were burnt, and I mean burnt. It smelled disgusting.

I proceeded to yell "CRAP" as I ran to the kitchen. When I came back to the art room, BJ was sitting at his computer smiling at me. I said, "I forgot about the beans and burned them. They're ruined." BJ replied, "You're an artist. That's what you do. You burn beans." And as usual, he was right.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The crucial difference between me and my mother

My mom and dad live in a beautiful, two-story house built in the twenties. Through almost twenty years of constant renovation, they have made it a charming and warm refuge for family and friends. When BJ and I started house hunting, I purposely sought a house to reflect my childhood home, and I found it: two-stories, old, and quaint.

When my parents have visitors coming, my mother frets about her house. It has to be perfectly clean and perfectly charming. Like her, I fret, also. I want to create an atmosphere of peace and welcome for my visitors, so I come up with a long to-do list the week before we have company.

Tonight, I have four of BJ's family members coming in, and on Friday, we will welcome another 8 people. Those eight won't be sleeping at our house, but they will be spending the days this weekend in our home. So if you are counting, we will have twelve visitors for the Fourth.

So, in "I'm becoming my mother" fashion, I have made a long list for cleaning, and I've spent mental energy fretting over my house. But I have also discovered one crucial difference between me and my mother. When Mom has a cleaning agenda prior to company, she does it. When I have one, I go to my art room and paint a bird. This is problematic.

So I've spent the past few days playing with the mat board cutter my brother got me for Christmas and contemplating the best composition for a bird painting I've been prepping for over the past couple of weeks. Neither of these things contribute to a clean house. In fact, they both make a mess.

Thankfully, due to my new thyroid medication (that is a whole other blog post for another day) I have energy abounding, so I've managed to fit in cleaning here and there, and BJ's never-ending obbsession with clean floors hasn't hurt. So bring on the company. We're ready even if we're not ready quite to my mother's standard.

Monday, June 29, 2009

July again

We are only two days from July, and that has got me reflecting on my life over the past few years. July has been an eventful month for BJ and I. In July of 2006, we got married. In 2007, we moved to Dallas. And, of course, last July we moved to Kentucky. Although we will have a lot of company this month, July is looking pretty uneventful in comparison to the past three years.

It is hard to believe that BJ and I have been married for three years, and it is even harder to believe that we have lived in three entirely different places. I keep trying to pen down how I am going to define my first years of marriage in the years ahead, and I'm not sure how to neatly phrase it. "We were never bored." Or maybe, "Where to now?"

BJ and I don't do anything the easy way. Every place we've been has presented unique challenges. In Abilene, BJ felt numbed by jobs that were miles away from this education and passion. Dallas was a battlefield; BJ may have been called a "heretic," but he wasn't going to back down from teaching what he knew needed to be taught. And now Kentucky, where we are still trying to get our feet steadily placed under us. The one constant throughout all of this change was the necessity for team work. We each had to muster every ounce of perseverance and fortitude we had to make it through to the next phase.

In some ways, I fear life becoming too settled. What has always brought BJ and I together has been an 'us against the world' mentality. In Abilene, we had to have patience, Dallas required strength, and Kentucky is demanding courage and trust in God. I probably don't need to get too worried about the sudden settling of dust around us, though. After all, BJ has a way of shaking things up when I least expect it. That is what makes being Mrs. BJ Gensic so much fun.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer days

Last year, we moved into our house at the beginning of fall, so this is the first time we have really been able to enjoy our yard and patio. As it has (finally) warmed up, we've been spending more and more time outside. I have a small, potted herb garden and a huge flower bed I am trying to take care of. Of course, I don't know anything about gardening, so my flower bed consist of every flower whose seed-packet picture was pretty. I'm guessing that once the flowers start blooming it will look like a collage a disorder. I'll have a better idea of what to do next year.

When I get home from work, I cook us a meal with our fresh vegetables from the CSA. BJ can't believe some of the things he is learning to like (turnips, radish greens, kale, etc.) According to BJ, I am stuffing him full of vegetables. After dinner, we hop in the pool where we are able to think of all sorts of ways to hurt each other. Pools are so much fun. Sienna generally hops in and takes a few laps. After the pool, I head in and either do some little house project or work on art. It's a pretty good system we have going here.

The miraculous part of all of this is that I am starting to see the slightest darkening of my skin. It's nothing drastic. I certainly wouldn't call it a tan. In fact, it is more just a subtle connecting of my freckles. Now let me be clear: I wear sunscreen when I am out (I will not be looking like a leather bag when I am forty). But a healthy glow doesn't hurt, whereas the glare off of my former paleness probable did hurt some eyes. So I'm going to embrace what BJ once called "a darker shade of white," and I will call it a "glow."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Things I'm missing about Texas

I like Kentucky, but some days I really miss home. Today, I'm missing...

...cilantro. No one puts it in their salsa here.

...bluebonnets. Bluebonnets are a part of life in Texas. We all grew up in Texas reading Legend of the Bluebonnets and being told that we were never to pick them. They taught me to respect my environment. They froze over when my grandmother died, and a few days after the funeral, they thawed out and continued to live for another month. When I graduated from college, my college girlfriends and I did a farewell photo shoot in a field of bluebonnets. I haven't seen a field of bluebonnets in over a year.

...three-digit weather. You don't think you'll ever miss it, but you do., family, and family.

...days without rain. It rains here everyday. BJ and I have been trying to stain our deck for two weeks, and we haven't had a forecast without rain for a long enough span to stain anything. I've never liked rain, and this is truly ridiculous.

I'm sure I could think of things I don't miss, but for the past few weeks, all I can seem to remember are the things I do miss. I've never been a proud, boasting Texan. You won't find any Texas flags in my house or on my clothes, and I won't ever try to rub it in that we are somehow a superior state to Kentucky or any other state. I'm not that sort, and I don't respect that kind of narrow-mindedness. However, it is my home, and I do love it. And, incidentally, I would sing "The Yellow Rose of Texas" if it would mean getting a number 4 from Los Arcos right now. Believe me, I would.

Monday, June 08, 2009

From BJ's sermon this week

"Next, we commit to standing up for what we believe in, for what is right. There are things worth fighting over on this side of life, and we will fight for them. But when the world comes to fight against us with its hatred and its animosity and its pain, we will bring none of those things. We will turn the other cheek. We will walk the extra mile. We will do the hard work of forgiveness before the sun sets on our anger, and contrary to what many will think, this will not make us pushovers. No, we will be the ones with the courage to walk a different path, because it is God who empowers us. Christ showed his followers where to make their stand, and we will do it. We shall not be moved, but in our hands we will hold self-sacrifice and love of our enemies. So Christ stood. So we shall stand."
BJ Gensic, "Does Jesus Speak to This" June 7, 2009

I know it is kind of brag-y to post his writing here, but I am just so proud of him. I can't help myself.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Curtains and more curtains and more...

I have lived in my house for nine months now. Each month, I fall a little more in love with it's numerous quirks and idiosyncrasies. The best part about having a home of which you really fell ownership is the never-ending process of molding that home into an aesthetic conglomerate that represents you, your family, and your taste. For me, this process has most obviously played itself out through the outfitting of windows. As of this weekend, I have officially sewn curtains or valances to outfit fifteen windows. Here is a quick run through of my sewing extravaganza.

First off, I made curtains for our living room when I was still at the rental waiting for our sell to go through. The trim matches our pillows:

The night I found out we would close the next day and get our house, I threw together this little valance out of scrap fabric from the living room curtains and pillows. I added the embroidery stitch by hand to keep it from being too plain:

Next, I decided to revamp my kitchen. Our house was built in the 1940s, so I was really wanting to capture a "Leave it to Beaver" feel without being too hokey. After thoroughly researching fabrics online and at stores, here is what I came up with:

After the kitchen curtains, I decided to remedy a problem that has irritated me since I got here. The curtains the previous owner left in the sun room where dark and heavy and didn't let any sun through. What's the point of having a sun room if the sun never comes through? So I sewed light-weight valances that let the light shine through:

Lastly, I wanted to give the guest bedroom a warmer feel by adding some curtains. Unfortunately, by this point I was feeling a little guilty about how much money I had spent on curtain fabric. To be more efficient, I made very simple valances and added an embellishment of ribbon to dress it up a bit:

So this is how I've amused myself during my first year as homeowner. Knowing me, I will soon get the itch to sew again, so if you are in need of custom curtains, let me know. Hope I haven't bored anyone too much. I just get really excited by fabric and thread and ribbons. And believe me, I know I'm a nerd.