Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Untitled Meditation

Hail Mary, Full of Grace
See these tears upon my face
The world's at war, and so am I
We hear the pain and wonder why
Called to lightness by your Son
We forsake the Call and shun
Fellow man and ignore the few
Good messengers speaking true
I want to hope, pray and believe
That we could find peace and harmony
Through the great gift I often scorn
Brought down from heaven on a Christmas morn
I cannot see, my eyes are weak
When I look to find the poor, sick and meek
I long to show a love so pure
So free, divine, devoid of censure
But I am human and only one
and still struggle to know the gift of your Son.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace
See these tears upon my face
I long to see the world at peace
To see these struggles finally cease
Help me to believe it's true
That God can use the tarnished, too

A little poem I wrote a few days after Christmas. I'm not Catholic and I'm not sure why the Hail Mary started this off. Though one of my favorite pieces was a prayer-turned-aria of a Hail Mary-based poem written by an 18-year-old Polish girl detained in an Gestapo holding cell during World War II. Perhaps that was the subconscious inspiration. Anyway, it's not much -I am no poet laureate- but it's honest and for some reason it stuck with me.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Biscotti

-Easy, but Time-Consuming-

So, getting ready for Christmas and I am in a slightly better mood than I was in my last post... One last emergency grocery trip today (which turned out to be the second to last emergency trip as I forgot the chives), a little holiday music and a cookie later, I am feeling slightly more Christmas-y.  Getting ready for Christmas Eve & Day now...

I am one of those people that really does not want to be cooking/baking all day on a holiday. As much as I love to cook, I really see no pleasure in standing in a hot kitchen that is too small for its occupants all trying to complete last minute 'must-haves'. So, I'm getting my bit (or as much as I can of it) done today. Already finished prepping the artichokes, have tomorrow's recipe all planned out and the biscotti is in the oven.

This is my second attempt at making biscotti and it looks like it's going well. I basically took the recipes I found and combined them all together - the dough of one, the mix-ins of another, etc. It's actually pretty easy to make, but it just takes a long time. That whole 'baked-twice' deal, I guess. ;) Find the recipe below, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I'll probably be on again to try to avoid some of the insanity, but who knows.


Lindsey's Holiday Biscotti

1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 T anise extract
3.25 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 c. chopped nuts (I use almonds or pecans)
1 c. dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, sugar and anise flavoring until well-blended. Combine the flour and baking powder, stir into the egg mixture to form a heavy dough. Divide dough into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a roll as long as your cookie sheet. Place roll onto the prepared cookie sheet, and press down to 1/2-inch thickness.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. When the cookies are cool enough to handle, slice each crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices cut side up back on to the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 6 to 10 minutes on each side. Cookie slices should be lightly toasted.

Serve plain or dip in chocolate before serving. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crazy Time Is Here

Christmas? Really? This time of year I look at all the people who are excessively happy (Just how much eggnog did you have, Mrs. Jones?) or those who are extremely crazy (Christmas brings out severe cases of manic shopper syndrome) and I just have to wonder why they do it. Do people enjoy going to malls where you can't walk two feet without someone ramming you in the shins with a stroller, grabbing your hands to demonstrate their amazing product (I don't want a manicure. Really.), or running into someone who has randomly stopped in the middle of the hall and caused a pile-up in the mall melee?

I see all the crazy rushing, the traffic, the money, the credit card bills and more, and I have to wonder if this is truly what Christmas means to these people? Why 'celebrate' a holiday if it's equated with incredible stress, living beyond means, greed, and gluttony? I know, I know, some of you may point out the 'true meaning of Christmas' and I get that bit, it's all the other stuff that I don't get.

I should try not to complain, but I just get so frustrated when I know what people turn the hoildays into. I never realized until I worked retail just how insane people can get - the Mom yelling at her kids to 'get in the Christmas spirit already!', the woman going through six different credit cards before finding one that wasn't declined because she maxxed out all of the others, the men forced to accompany their wives on nightmare shopping days eyeing the crowds (who are frothing at the mouth) with wary eyes, the children screaming because they came crashing down from their sugar high, there isn't a sugar cookie in sight and they haven't slept in a week - This is what Christmas looks like in the United States?

Happy Retail, Claustrophobia, and National Materialism Month!
(And may you somehow find the true meaning of Christmas amidst the insanity).

Monday, December 21, 2009

New URL (and other things!)

Hola kiddos -

So, just a quick note at the beginning to inform you all (in case you haven't noticed already) that I've changed the blog's url. You can now find it at I was getting tired of telling people the ridiculously long, kind of vague, and hard to spell (apparently... I never really thought of it before) name that vagabondinaforeignland was. So, I stole my old blog's url and gave vagabond to a new one which will hopefully soon have a link that links back to here just to prevent confusion. Or maybe cause more of it. Not sure. Time will tell.


In other news: I have a job. Yes. Well, it's a temp job. But it's a job nonetheless! And it pays well, so my bills are getting paid and I was actually able to buy Christmas gifts this year. So fun.  It feels so weird to be on this schedule again, no matter how many times I tell myself that just four months ago I got up and made it to work at 7:30am every morning, it still feels early. This is the start of my second week and it will only be a half week due to the holiday. I'll probably get a break until the New Year, which is nice, but I wouldn't mind working.

Looking forward to the Midnight Christmas Eve service (ok, it's actually 11pm, but Midnight sounded too cool) at a church I've been visiting. My little sisters may come along if they're not too tired. Trying to figure out what to do for New Year's Eve. Would really like to go out or go to a party for once. I usually stick with relatives or family (which usually involves a board game and half of us not even making it to midnight), but I'd really like to see what all the hubbub is about sometime.

Went to see Andrew Peterson's Behold the Lamb of God on Friday. WOW. I was so impressed. Honestly, I like a little of what I've heard of his music, but for the most part I've never been a huge fan. I'm sure most of you who are reading this have already been to this concert, so I will spare you the discussions on how incredible the musicians were (Andrew Peterson, Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Osenga, Ben Shive, Brandon Heath, and more), and how deep and fresh the lyrics were. I am one of those gets so tired of hackneyed Christmas songs and to hear the same story told in such a way was great. (Okay, maybe I won't spare you that discussion...) Walked away with two CDs as well - Behold the Lamb 10th Anniversary album (awesome - comes with the studio-recorded as well as the live version) and Ben Shive's The Ill-Tempered Klavier".

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shiny New Pencils and Anxiety Galore

Well, have just a moment and thought I'd put an update out here. Getting ready for first day of work and still quite anxious. I guess 'first days' are usually like that, but I would love it so much if I could bypass the anxiety and nervousness all together.

Hope you guys are looking forward to a good week - Can you believe that Christmas is in under two weeks????

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Changes, changes. Making a few changes, hoping for others.

Hoping for a job - still nothing. Doing follow-up calls and emails, constantly refining the cover letters and resumes and still nothing. As said at is, this tacit rejection is swinging quite a blow at my ego. I am so used to jobs (good jobs, even!) falling into my lap that now that I actually have to search I'm getting a little annoyed. Okay, more than a little annoyed.

Other immediate changes: I renamed my blog. I did this before, but it just didn't seem to fit. Granted, this one might go in the next month or two (who knows!), but I like it better than the other. So, the blog is now called "Attempting Transformation". Might sound a little hokey, perhaps a little high-and-mighty, but mostly I just wanted something to reflect the transitions and changes I'm going through right now. Hopefully, I'm growing and learning from all these lovely experiences - hence the 'attempting' bit.

In other news, I am 80% sure that I will get to go to the Andrew Peterson concert in Kokomo! Yay! Quite excited. As of right now it's only me and McKenna (we're old pros at road trips together - even if it is only an hour and a half), but we're pretty excited. Ordering tickets tomorrow if all goes as planned. Anyone want to drive up to Indianapolis and go with us? ;)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do You Ever...?

Do you ever have those moments where you just look back and cringe? Having one of those right now. Was glancing through some Facebook pictures and just wish I could go back and talk some sense into my 18-year-old self. Or even my 21-year-old self. Both of them could've used a large dose of reality. I was so wrapped up in myself, so obsessed with 'what people thought'. I look back and just wish that I could've seen how selfish and ignorant that was. Then again, I suppose life is about learning and I would have never learned from those experiences if I hadn't gone through them the way I did. I had to progress somehow from shy, awkward, socially inept 18-year-old into some semblance of an adult. Granted, I'm still shy, I have a fair number of awkward moments on a regular basis and sometimes I still feel inept, but perhaps it counts for something now that I actually recognize these moments for what they truly are.