Monday, June 19, 2017

Cherry Picking

Oh, happy...
Hello, hello, hello! Yesterday was Father's Day. More than that, as a family, we spent time cherry picking! I could have taken a picture in the moment of picking, but no. That would have been a waste of good family time. 

But we picked cherries as a family, cut off the dead branches (so the tree can thrive), and made a cherry crisp. Oh, and we pitted the cherries. That was an adventure in itself. If you find me on instagram (sidannwest), you can watch that video. I'm not really sure how to put a video on here. Oh well, there's my life for you.

But I was so excited! My sister and I, the night before Father's Day, sat out by the cherry tree, after picking lots of cherries, and had a chit chat for hours. Oh, it was so lovely. I love my sister so much and I find so much joy in our conversations. Anyways, intentional conversation and cherries make for joyful day.

Oh, also, I picked lemon balm leaves because I thought it was mint leaves. It wasn't. That was an odd things to experience.

But, anyways, on Father's Day, we picked the rest of the cherries! We then took them inside, pitted them with my pop's cherry pitter, and made a cherry crisp. What a lovely family time to spend together.

Anyways, I have continual encouragement for you to spend time finding a local fruit tree where you can get local (and sometimes free!) fruit. Then you can help the tree by taking its fruit AND you can help sustain yourself by having fruit. Plus, if you have a lovely human to pick things with, then you can sustain that relationship.

All the happy, wonderful things.



For the majority of me living my 'adult life', I have struggled to eat protein. I don't like to cook meat and beans weren't something we really ate growing up...and even when did, I picked them out of my food. I'm not a picky eater, just a sophisticated eater. =]. 

Anyways, for the next couple of months, I'm trying out veganism. My only real thing to hold me back was protein, but I don't really eat meat or eggs, so there's two sources that I don't have as is. I really eat a ton of fruit and veggies, and I've been wanting (okay, not really...maybe need?) to cut of dairy to test if I'm sensitive. 

But I found this lovely chart! So join me in finding joy in it. I made lentils last night (they're fantastic). I find loads of happiness in seeds. And in tofu.

Also, find joy in this - there is protein in lots and lots of vegetables. Google it. Then watch Forks Over Knives and let's have a conversation about it.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Collapsible Cup?

My. Cup. Collapses.

Here's my bomb cup.
And I'm really fond of it! Weekly, I bring my own cup to church (to cut down on disposable use and by classy as all get out). When my family went over to Ireland this past week, I wish I had a cup so I didn't use disposables during all the happy coffee times.

Alas, no cup. I made lots of coffee cup trash.

When I came back, I talked about making one purchase. This cup! Well, not this exactly. Just something like it so I can keep it in my bag and forget about it and then remember I have it and save the world.

Anyways, check my super cool cup out.

I used it at the coffee shop today and the lady thought it was the neatest thing ever! She was scared that pouring coffee into it would cause it to melt. Nope. This jazzy jazz is made of silicon. That's sand. I think. I googled it on the google at one time. And then my adorable cup of coffee came to hang out with me while I read my Bible.

Here's an Ireland photo.
Also, other life notes. My basil plant and mint plant have been growing lots and lots over the past couple of weeks and I'm quite the excited to add mint to tea. Maybe I'll make homemade pesto. Maybe I'll be the best chef ever.

Hmm. Also, I'm trying out veganism for the next while because it sounds fun. I realize that I probably need more hobbies because that sounds so fun. But I've tried new foods! Jicama, amaranth, fennel, portabella mushroom, hmmm...probably other things, but whatever. I like all the new foods. 

I enjoy my cup.

Life is lovely.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Oh, the Library

Drink a cup of coffee with your books.
Free fun for all.

I signed up for the summer reading program at my local library. If you don't know how cool that makes me, go watch an episode of Arthur and come back. Anyways, as an adult, I still get prizes and get encouraged to read!

You see, being a teacher, I thought I was above motivation driven by getting a prize. Nope. I'm not above that. 

Anyways, my only encouragement is to check out your local library. And maybe get eight books on history that you may never read. But, alas, you must try. 

Lynda and I took this in Ireland 
this past week.
I did that.

I got eight books. 


OH. NO. Another free way of sustaining friendships and a love of learning. I'm going to host a reading and tea party. I'll post more about that later. That's how this post relates.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You Should Visit...

Today was 5th grade promotion. It was lovely (and, for my sake and sanity, I have less papers in my classroom). After promotion, we had a reception. 

Y'all. My heart melted a bit.

One of my students gave me a flower crown. He came over, handed it to me, then walked away. It was really random and I was really confused. But that was something. I'm still wondering: what is the significance of a flower crown in the Palauan culture? You see, this student is from Palau. 

A couple of minutes later, his dad asked for a picture. His grandmother told me to put the crown on. I did. We took lots of pictures. Then I walked away to see how my other students were doing. 

Five or so minutes later, this student came up to me. He said, "You should visit Palau. It's a very beautiful country and you would like it there." Really random, really sweet. My heart melted. It's still melting. This student hasn't really said much all year and I don't know if I made a difference in his life, but something happened. He was comfortable enough to talk to me. He told me about his country. 

There's my happy story. I was able to see God's faithfulness in this (and maybe some confirmation).


Little Life Things

It's been a hot mess of a couple of days. Everything is really up-in-the-air right now and that's okay. I have noticed, though, that in my lack of knowing what is going on, my brain seems to...become less functional.

So, to share in my joy, learn from me. Sleep more when life is crazy, slow down, and don't think so much. Anyways, here's some stories from my week. 

1. Monday. Morning. My carpool buddy and I were driving separately because I have to take a ton of stuff home from school. I leave my apartment. My tire is low. 17 psi. Oh, yikes. I got halfway to fill up on air, realized I had forgotten my wallet. Shoot. Had to go back to my apartment. Ran it...left. Went back to the gas station to fill on air. Didn't have cash. Asked if I could get cash back from counter. Rejected. Almost cried. Didn't. Used ATM. Got charged $2.25 because it wasn't my bank. Changed the 20 dollars I got out for smaller bills...and four quarters. The air costs 75 cents. That's a thing. Ran back out to my car. Mud is wet. Mud is slippy. Mud and my lack of awareness at 7:20 causes me to slip...catch myself...and fall harder. Mud all over my pant leg. People saw me faceplant...and didn't help. They did look at me, though. That was a good time. Felt like a movie star. Anyways, I put in the quarters. THEN. I couldn't figure out how to work the machine. I thought it was the way my tire was I drove forward like one foot. It wasn't that. I'm just incompetent at using machines. Took one minute, but I got it going! Filled up my tire. Like a bro. Held back tears. Got into my car to drive to school. It was 7:26. It takes me 25 minutes to drive to school. I needed to be there by 7:40. Called my school secretary. She was quite kind. Hung up the phone. Then I called my mom. Then I cried. And laughed. Because the morning was hilarity and a half and I'd only been awake for about an hour when all that happened.

2. Today, while bringing my teaching jazz to my car, my students and I made a line to my car. The weather was a bit cool, sunny, and peaceful. We walked to my car. Put everything in it. THEN. The wind started to pick up and the weather went crazy. Jesus provided five minutes of calm weather to put things in my car!

3. I lost my keys today in the classroom. We searched for like 20 minutes. High and low. Through bags and boxes. Found them. They were in my jacket pocket.

4. This past weekend, my mom and I went to Oklahoma. I was SO PROUD of myself because I turned the air off and I was going to save so much energy. I got back home...and the light was left on. The kitchen light! How embarrassing. No earth saving happened that day.

5. Today, I met a new neighbor. Oh, wait. No. I had lived in Smurthwaite with her...for two years? Maybe three? I don't really remember. Dana! This is you. What a blessing this is - I'm sorry we've lived so close for 10 months and we didn't know. But now we do! 100 feet away (okay, probably more...I'm not spatially intelligent). What a blessing!

6. On Sunday, when mom and were driving back from Oklahoma, we were texting her friend about the possibility of a potential roommate. Asking all sorts of questions, figuring out a time to meet. She came by that night. Questions were asked. Questions were answered. Roommate is something I will have. This cuts rent and bills in half. I am humbled. Thank you, Jesus. *oh, look, my eyes just got all watery*

There's five stories. There's probably more. But I can tell you this: Jesus is good. Jesus is sovereign. Jesus takes care of me.


Monday, April 17, 2017


I wrote letters today. I'm really behind on life things. But I wrote letters! I have a TON of one cent stamps that I don't know what to do with...

...until I thought...

...and thought more...

...and figured out I could do math and put many stamps together.

So that's what I did! I'm a big fan of using what I have (see this) and not getting more than I need. Well, one cent stamps. How in the world to use them?

They make ten cent stamps. And postcard stamps. And when you add cents together, it just makes sense. That was funny.

Anyways, use what you have. And if you want to write me a letter, I'll accept. Just message me for my address. I promise you'll get a response. Unless you don't. Then no promise.