This was Someday Saturday Today with Pine Needles

Pine Needles in the Garden

I really hate “someday,” because usually, someday is just no-day. That usually ends up being my answer when I don’t want to do something, or can just put it off to some unknown time in the future that may or may not ever come. This is why people create bucket lists, so some day doesn’t turn into never-day. Well today, and just about every Saturday for the last 4-5 weeks, has been someday Saturday. Sometimes around 2008 Deborah and I decided we were finally going to clean out the attic, the garage, and do some of the things around the house we have been wanting to do for years. That was back in 2008.

A few weeks ago we finally got tired of putting it off, and started working on all of the above, a little at a time, each Saturday morning. We have a very small one car garage, (which the car has been been in before) and today ended up being peg-board and organization day as you can see Deborah doing below, then pine-mulch in the garden. The pine straw required picking up 15 bales of pine needles at the local feed store, which was weird since we basically live amongst a pine forest, and spreading them out in the 90 degree high humidity heat of Alabama.

I know these aren’t life changing events here, but they aren’t unimportant either. I think I read somewhere recently that there really are only a few days in everyone’s life that are super important, the rest is life, just living life. That’s what this post is about… this is just what we have been doing on Saturday mornings around here. Life isn’t always about the super high and super low points, but the events this week in Aurora Colorado just reminded me how precious life is, and how quickly it can change.

Ode To My Wife the Quilter :: Poem

Project 365 [Day 218] Deborah Finishes the 144th Quilt Block
Project 365 [Day 218] Deborah Finishes the 144th Quilt Block
You may or may not know, but my wife Deborah, has been quilting for over 25 years now. She use to teach people how to quilt all around the country, she invented and designed several new quilting products, and has completed countless projects, many of which she gave away. She doesn’t quilt much for herself anymore but back during the millennium she did a quilt swap with people all around the world, and here a mere 12 years later she finally got around to putting the blocks together, 144 blocks to be exact, and the last block, by Carol Smith from Colonia NJ was the very last block of the 144.

This box of blocks from back in 2000 came from cleaning out our attic, something we have been trying to do for the past 6 years. Along with the blocks we found this poem, Ode To My Wife the Quilter, by an Unknown Author.

Ode To My Wife the Quilter

She learned to quilt on Monday
Her stitches all were very fine.
She forgot to thaw out dinner,
So we went out to dine.

She quilted miniatures on Tuesday,
She says they are a must.
They were really quite lovely,
But she forgot to dust.

On Wednesday it was a sampler,
She says stripling’s fun.
What highlights! What shadows!
But the laundry wasn’t done.

Her patches were on Thursday-
Green, yellow, blue and red.
I guess she was really engrossed
She never made the bed.

It was wall hanging on Friday,
In colors, she adores.
It never bothered her at all,
The crumbs on the floors.

I found a maid on Saturday,
My week is now complete.
My wife can quilt the hours away,
The house will still be neat.

Well it’s already Sunday,
I think I’m about to wilt.
I cursed, I raved, I ranted,
The MAID has learned to QUILT!

On This Day 19 Years Ago We Said…

Scott and Deborah Fillmer June 11 1993

This is of course the day we said “I DO” to each other, some 19 years ago now. I’m not going to post a ton of photos as I have in the past, but I will share this one random shot above when we were walking away down the isle. On a side note, being able to look back historically at blog posts over a period of years is really interesting. I have posted on our anniversary, only on the odd years, like on year 15 and year 17, and now year 19. I’m thinking next year I will have to break that tradition for our 20th. Have no idea why, but, there you go.

Today is year number 19 and I can honestly say, I love my wife more now than I ever thought I could 19 years ago when we got married. Being married this long the question of the meaning of love gets discussed here and there, and of course Scripture tells us a lot about the truths of love. Paul makes his famous statements in Ephesians that I try to live by as a husband.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish.

and then he goes on to say

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh… this mystery is profound…

That is what marriage is, what love is. God forming two separate and distinct lives between a man and a woman, into one, mysterious union, becoming over time, one unit, with the two distinctions in the past. That may scare some, but it encourages me, and I find it completely true, in all sense of the word.

Deb's Hand Made Smocked Dresses for the Girls

Hand Made Smocked Dresses by Deborah Fillmer

I am continually amazed at the ability and care Deborah puts into each of her handmade dresses and other creations (see also her Etsy Store). If you are looking for some incredible heirloom quality dresses, or just a casual dress to wear to the Auburn football games (or insert your school name and logo here), I don’t know where you could find a better seamstress (she even creates christening gowns and the like).

Anyway, the above photo was just her latest creation for two of our nieces. Deb worked on these gems for about 3 weeks for a birthday present for Abby and Martha above. I can’t wait to see what she makes next. If you have any thought about getting something for football season don’t wait, there might be a waiting list.

Blessed Are Those Who Believe Without Seeing :: Easter Sunrise

Easter Sunrise Service at Cornerstone Church

Easter Sunrise Service at Cornerstone Church

This morning we started off with an incredible sunrise service, of course just at the time the sun came up over the trees. It really was something to see. God’s creation displayed for all to see while we worship our risen Savior. That is my photo of the day today (and my P365 photo as well [Day 132]), looking right into the sunrise, glorious. I took a bunch of shots this morning, but I love the shot of Deborah and Bart with the sunrise in the background, and still a little cool for an outside service.

Today of course is the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are several accounts on the resurrection in Scripture, the classic Synoptic Gospels account like Matthew 28 and Luke 24, (see Why do You Seek the Living Among the Dead? but in John 20, Jesus makes two statements that I find really amazing. The first, in John 20:16, he calls Mary, by name, showing that after the resurrection, Jesus knows us, by name. The second is when Jesus was talking to Thomas and he says in John 20:29 “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Both of those statements show God’s care for those of us who are celebrating the resurrection in 2012.

Fall Storms Roll Through Auburn University Today :: Photos

It was a dreary cloudy day in Auburn today, but almost 80*F in the middle of November, until this really fast moving storm system sort of caught everyone saying “what just happened?” These storms have now moved east doing about the same damage as they head towards the east coast. We didn’t have any damage at our place but there was pretty significant damage all around Auburn in the form of downed trees and power lines, some turned over cars, and apparently some damage to Auburn High School and Haley Center on campus. We are thrilled to hear that, so far, there haven’t been any injuries associated with the storm.

The only reason Deb and I happened to be on campus at lunch time today was to get her out of the house for a quick lunch in Foy Hall where they have one of her favorite places to eat. Once the sirens started going off on campus (see a really splotchy video here) everyone headed for the hallways and campus became like a ghost town. It’s just part of living down here in the south, glad no one was hurt. I did however get some photos while we were walking/driving around trying to get home (all taken with my cell phone here). Stormy weather always makes for such great lighting conditions, even if it is just on your cell phone.

The Blur of Time from Columbus to Veterans Day This Year

I just can’t believe it is almost the middle of November, Veterans Day, or Auburn Arena‘s opening night for the 2011-2012 NCAA Men’s basketball season. It’s really all been a blur since about October 1st, like having frosted lenses in your glasses, but seen through the venue of the calendar, if that makes any sense. Where did October go? Leading up to the beginning of October was so focused on our trip to Uganda, then a few days after I returned from Uganda Deborah got sick, and then ended up having to be in the hospital for a while, where we spent Halloween before she got to go home the next day.

It actually feels pretty good to be here writing on my blog again, which is something of a normalcy issue for me anyway, something I have tried to make a normal part of my week for the past 10 years. It feels strange to me when I go a few weeks without posting, but the gaps mean about as much to me as consistent posts. I have come to learn and appreciate over the last 12 months or so that when someone you know and care about gets sick, friends, family, your spouse, priorities tend to shift around to triage mode. You do the things that need to be done and forget about all the other stuff you normally do that uses up time each day.

Everyone I know is so busy it sometimes seems like if anything out of the expected happens the whole system of time will shut down and collapse, and in some ways, it does. It’s like getting on a transatlantic flight. Time still moves forward even though you are stuck in a small metal tube for 12 hours. Inside that room (or cabin), time stands still while everything around you motors on at light speed, your “normal” is temporarily on hold until you get out of that time warped room. When we took off from Atlanta for our overnight flight into Amsterdam only our world stopped. As soon as we hit the ground in Europe I turned on my phone to find out that Steve Jobs had died while we were in flight. It was only our world in the plane that became timeless for 12 hours.

I have no doubt in my mind that being “busy” is not a biblical mandate. In fact, the opposite is true. Psalm 46.10 instructs us, to be still, and know that I AM God. But how do you balance this with the noise and chaos that is our world today? I still fight hard for margin (being still) every single week but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Slowly, things return to “normal”, or if not, you create a “new normal” where you can establish some kind routine again. I’m not sure why routine is the goal but routine often times removes uncertainty and change, which seems to be what we all fear the most, but routine also gives us a continuity of motion for each day. I can’t imagine that Paul’s routine in Acts removed a whole lot of uncertainty for him, and fear in itself always feels like a testing of faith to me. Over the past month or so these thoughts have combined in my mind while looking at three different areas of scripture. The words of Matthew in Matthew 6.25-34 on being axioms about tomorrow, (something I think I have been genetically inclined to do from birth), 2 Corinthians 12.9 where Jesus instructs Paul that “my power is made perfect in weakness”, and 2 Timothy 1.7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Tonight starts a new normal routine for our house, a “normal” routine for the second week in November that is, the start of Auburn’s basketball season. This is always something that Deborah and I look forward to each year. Not necessarily because it’s an Auburn sporting event, but because it is a few designated hours we get to spend together outside our normal routine, without much noise or distraction… one of those timeless two hour flights with the added bonus of not having to actually be at 40,000 feet. War Eagle!

Auburn Tigers Football vs Florida Atlantic Game 4 :: Photos

The football game yesterday was the first night game of the year and I ended up leaving my camera in the car, so I was left with taking photos of the game using my iPhone. I can’t wait to see what kind of camera the iPhone 5 comes with (reportedly it will be a great 8mp sensor), because the more I use my cell phone for actual serious photographic purposes the more I have grown to like it. Sure my Nikon DSLR would have done a better job overall but I was thrilled to have my phone, and not have to lug around a heavy body and lens for once. It also still proves the old adage that the artist is in the person (or the photographer) not in the camera.

Anyway, it ended up being one of the more enjoyable games we have been to this year. We didn’t get sunburned, die from the heat, or stress over the game (though we really don’t do that anyway). We did however get to see several friends around the tailgate areas, like Courtney (see her blog here) seen below with Deborah, and we ended up leaving early enough to get to see the end of the game from home. Normally we would stay but since I had to be at three services and a mission meeting early today, we opted for watching the end at home. By the time the next home game gets here against Florida I will have been to Uganda and back. The Florida game is actually the very next day after I get back from 36 hours of travel from the other side of the world, hopefully I will just be able to stay awake for the game. In the mean time enjoy some iPhoneography below.

The View from Estes Park Colorado in September

Our view from the cabin in Estes Park looks out over Longs Peak, which just got a dusting of snow over the last night or two. The temps are above freezing at around 8,000 feet where we are, barely, but it’s cold enough. I don’t get a chance to do self-portraits very often but I did this one below this morning as Deborah and I spent some nice quiet time, me reading and Deb knitting. These two shots pretty much show what we like to do when we are not scheduled to be somewhere doing something. It’s great because our location can change but we can pretty much take a few things with us and enjoy spending the day together on the beach, or in the mountains, or at home in the living room for that matter.

This self portrait was pretty neat to me since I was able to combine the two things I’m passionate about in one moment, studying God’s word and photography (meta data here). Self portraits are really much more difficult than one might think, it just isn’t as easy as pushing the button and your done, to me it’s about telling a story as always. I love looking at different ways to do self portraits since it tells so much about the photographer and the person. One of my favorite is this one my grandfather did, which I posted a few years ago.

Only one day left of our mountain view and it’s back to the heat and humidity. Something I’m actually looking forward to since it’s a whole lot easier to breathe in Alabama than it is in Colorado. Tomorrow we have the baby Luke photo shoot and I’m wishing I had all the cute little baby hats, baskets, and cups that Heather Carson in Auburn uses but we do have several Deborah knitting originals to use.

Starting the 4th of July Holiday Weekend :: Friday Feet

This 4th of July holiday weekend seems to have snuck up on me. I didn’t realize it was the holiday weekend until about mid-week, days just seem to be flying by at such a fast pace, can’t believe we are already basically mid-summer. I tried out some test shots on Deb tonight, something she is always thrilled about. I picked up this used lens (10-12 years old by the serial number) for my Uganda trip. I decided last year that I was going to forgo the big expensive, heavy, pro, zoom lenses and opt for shooting with prime lenses (a fixed focal length lens). They are cheap, fast, and extremely sharp, when you shoot them well.

This is Nikon’s Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D classic prime that came out back in the late 1980’s (see photo below), which converts to about 30mm on my DX crop sensor. Not the best portrait focal length in the bag for a crop sensor but it worked pretty well. Not so sure about the focus, it seems like it might be off front or back a bit but it will do the job. I shot some black and white film with it too but of course I can’t see that yet. It hasn’t been easy getting use to using primes, but it has forced me to look at shooting more creatively. Somehow shooting those big fat pro zoom lenses years back made me lazy. Primes may take a bit more work but I love the end result.

Hope everyone is going to have a chance to relax and enjoy the 4th of July weekend. As hot as it was today we may not leave the air conditioned house until the fireworks go off on Monday. Have a great weekend.