Sunday, June 27, 2010





Oh, I got new glasses today!

(They're a little on the over-sized possibly geek-glasses side. I am aware of this.)

Also, I found this lovely photo on my card when I imported my photos today...

It appears to be a bear thing stuck to an air vent. Evidently one or more of my siblings found this hilarious and decided to take pictures of it.

It kinda is hilarious. The bear looks like it's been tied to a rack or something and any second now someone's going to show up to question him. "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?!??!?!? TELL MEEEEEE!!!!" Etc.


That is all.

(Disclaimer: no stuffed animals were harmed in the making of this post.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

longest post ever. alternate title: this blog is bipolar.

Mosquitoes are brutal. I had never known that before. Before today, mosquitoes always regarded me with absolute disgust, and I could (and did) go whole summers completely free of the scourge that is mosquitoes. Maybe there's a drought or something, because today - oh, today they paid me heed. (Is that sentence structurally sound? Can one pay heed? They heeded me? Needed me? Feeded on me??)

I had a simple plan: spray paint two lids to two jars that had boring and/or gross lids that needed a revamp before their introduction to Tiph's Room. One blue, one red. Simple. Spray the lid, let it dry. A good thing to note: I have never used spray paint before.

Surprisingly, it actually was straight-forward. I put a thingy of paper on the ground outside and pssht. pssht. psssssshhttt. Blue lid! Except... around the edges? Okay, that can be rectified. In hindsight, I should have known better. I picked up the lid, and - holding it up in the air - pssshht. pshtpshtpsht. Hooray! Blue fingers! Like I mentioned earlier - hindsight is 20/20, and all - I should have known better, but at this point I'm feeling good about Blue Lids and (oops, dropped it. Ew, now the lid is smudged. Sad face.) picked up the red lid and did the exact same thing with the red one. What does blue and red make? Purple? Noooo. It makes really sticky fingers. Spray paint doesn't really come off with soap and water, apparently, especially when it's dry. Hmm.

(At this point I went downstairs to figure out what to do about sticky red-and-blue fingers. Answer: paint thinner.)

You know what's ridiculous? That every. single. time. I try to say something is a fact on my blog, I go on (usually the very next day) to make myself a total liar. Case in point: yesterday I said that I had lost interest in the internet and photography. Today I spent a generous amount of time browsing Flickr, Youtube, and blogs (but not Facebook). I took pictures of everything I did today. It was ridiculous. I took a picture of oil in a pan because I thought it looked like a Power symbol.

Ha ha.

On that note, an example of what to not wear in the kitchen:

That is my sleeve. Does the picture speak for itself?

I randomly have tons of energy. All day long. And even though it's not remotely related, look at my sister's awesome paper plane. No, really. LOOK AT IT.

I will be mad if I find out that you closed your eyes.

Obligatory carrot cake pictures:

(I don't know why they're obligatory. They just are.)


Final thing (really): I reorganized Flickr with new sets and such. Not that it's necessarily important, but I thought it was cool.

P.S. Colander story to come tomorrow.

what's up? oh yeah, the sun.

Ah, summer. Picnics, lemonade, beaches, rest and relaxation.
All in 100 F weather. Yay.

I find it endlessly amusing that while the rest of the world (read: Up North) hides in their houses with blankets and hot cocoa during the winter, in Texas, it's the best time to do anything outside. (Except when it gets close to freezing. It's not often, but we're babies about it.) And then by April, we're starting to shut down our stuff, set our sprinklers to auto and prepare for several months of Staying Inside. Meanwhile, everyone else has real summer. Is this fair? I think not.

Anyway, this means that I have more time for those things that generally happen during winter - reading, baking things (I made two carrots cakes in the past four days), and drinking coffee. (For whatever reason, I'm on a coffee kick. Another oddity.) I've been doing photography less, but I'm finally getting around to going through and editing photos I'd taken months ago. Every once in a while I'll venture out into the blazing heat to trail bike (with a new mountain bike my uncle gave me, hooray!). Did I mention reading? Also, I think that "natural" barrier of non-chemical chemicals is working - the only thing that has dared enter my room are June bugs, and they're just stupid. Not scary.

The only thing that's really been lacking is art. I feel uncreative in that area - or maybe notsomuch uncreative as feeling unable to translate what I have in my head to paper. And my graphics tablet is grossly underused. Goal this week: a digital art piece and a Real Life art piece. Hold me to it.

I'm going to go dunk my head in a bucket of ice water now.

Monday, June 21, 2010

this is now: summer solstice

It's been a while since I've blogged, and I have so much to say. I've not been online much, just because I seem to have lost interest in the internet for the time being, and I feel vaguely unproductive for it. My photography has also experienced a bit of a slow period, but it's not dead.
It's the first day of summer. Words will come later, but... this is now...

the golden hour

cream in my (infrequent) coffee

cute brother Caleb

snakes at the zoo. aren't they cute?

grumpy frog is grumpy.

acquiescing to Josiah's requests to "take a picture of my going down the slide upside down!!"

beautiful sunsets that I can never get enough of.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

horses grow on trees. i saw them.

"Horses grow on trees, Tiph."
"Horses grow on trees!"
"No, they don't!"
"Josiah, horses do not grow on trees."
"Um... do you mean they go under the trees?"

My eyes are itching. All the time. I just want to take out my eyeball and wash it so it'll stop itching.

I found a disposable camera in a box under my nightstand, unopened and ready for use. I'm hoping for sunshine tomorrow so I can maybe get a few pretty shots. I haven't been photographing anything lately. I have been working on a couple of sewing projects, though. And by "working on," I really mean "taking out the fabric, laying it across the table, measuring, marking, getting a snack, playing piano, staring at my fabric trying to figure out what exactly to do, try to decide if there's an easier way to do things, playing Sudoku, and then folding the fabric back up because it's time for dinner." At this rate, 2012 will have blasted my fabric to apocalyptic smithereens before I even touch the fabric with my scissors. What's that rule? Measure twice; cut once? That needs to be modified, Tiph-style: Measure five bajillion times, don't cut at all.

Yeah. Those projects are going to be no problem at all.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

this is the extent of my vegetarianism

It was only after I uploaded the photos to Picasa Web and then to the blog that I realized I forgot to color-edit them. At least, the one above in particular, because the paper is supposed to be off-white and the city is not as brown. Imagine everything slightly desaturated, because I'm too lazy to edit and reupload.

Let's talk about food!
Food is not one of my favorite things. There are very few foods that I reaaallllyy love, and for the most part, food is just kinda one of those annoyingly necessary things. You know, so one can continue living? Yeah. Today was an especially "blah" day, and when I looked in our pantry (that is by no means empty) at lunch time, I said, "There's nothing to eaaatttttt." I repeated the process with the fridge.

While I wasn't being particularly truthful about the lack of food, there certainly wasn't anything appetizing in the house. So I made a shake. I decided it would be my opportunity to get some veggies in, so in addition to strawberries, bananas, milk, and yogurt, I threw in baby spinach. I can't even taste it when it's in with the other stuff.

Proud of myself, I poured a nice tall glass and decided that I needed some sort of bread with it. And happily, I remembered that we still had some Mexican pan (which means bread, for you gringos) left. I took a big conchita (which means "little shell." It is so called for its round shape and frosting patterns that make it look like a shell). I was about to sit down to eat, but it felt like something was missing...

Oh yeah.

Whipped cream. Duh. Have to balance that healthiness out somehow.

After dinner, I made sugar cookies. But, I did have a salad first. Be proud.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

in which i attempt to convey the appropriate sense of my excessive affection for a stack of papers and blue ink.

This journal and I will do great things.

p.s. the story is not finished with me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

you're like a simile to me

Several weeks ago I bemoaned the fact that I hadn't written anything at all for practically forever. Strictly speaking, I lied, because I write absolutely every day: lists, notes, emails, texts. I blog, though that possibly cannot be considered any form of writing.

Anyway, I felt perturbed that I did not have a story to write. I've always had a story to write, even if I didn't actually write it. What I mean is that none of the various stories that came into my head and flitted around like stray cats all were ludicrous or boring or they had too many fleas. Wait, what? Mixed metaphors, you come on little cat feet, enveloping the harbor!*

Like I was saying, I had a very strong desire to, well, tell stories, yet nothing presented itself to me for the telling. It's difficult and rather unfulfilling to sit down to write a serious piece on... why lions eat sheep. It seems like this is a common discussion I have with Josiah, my three year old brother.

Then two days ago, something presented itself with very little effort on my part. I made up for that lack of effort by idiotically writing it down by hand. There is a reason why we have laptops, people! It's because generally we like feeling our arms after conveying some wordy thought. Surprise, surprise! And after all these years, I thought typewriters were invented just to give women something to do in the workplace.**

While writing, I reconfirmed something that I knew fairly certainly, but had half-forgotten: I become absolutely consumed with the story I am writing. I don't really know any other writers, but I'm going to have to assume that this is reasonable and therefore reasonably normal (as normal as writers can be), because of the high level of emotional involvement put into the creation of a story. My characters' feelings are my feelings. As such, I tend to get moody and somewhat reclusive as there is so much information I sort through and write. It's difficult. I'm glad this was just a short piece, about 13 (handwritten) pages long.

In other news, it rained today, and I put my camera in a ziploc bag, sealed it, and took pictures in the rain. The sun was shining; I couldn't resist.

Results: exactly what I wanted. I may edit it and throw it on Flickr later.

It's an earlier morning tomorrow, so I'm off.

*Ack! Literary allusions! Ten points for anyone who has a clue who knows what I'm talking about. Fifty points for anyone who knows without using Google.

**I joke Please don't stone me!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

i'll take summer for $400 please.

It's summer! Summer is pretty cool.
Actually that's a lie. Summer is pretty hot. It can also be awesome (sometimes). Summer brings us this kind of photographic goodness!

And no, I didn't take any of these photos, for proper credits go to the Pinterest page.

But anyway, as I was saying - summer is sometimes pretty awesome, but not always. Really hot days? Those are just wet blankets. Hot, wet, suffocating blankets. Hurricane season? Exciting in much the same way as seeing sharks circling your boat. All that stuff is really trivial, though, compared to the worst thing of summer.

(Imagine that's said in a deep, echo-y scary voice. Let's try again.)
Roaches. (Roaches.)

I was sitting on the floor, minding my own business (writing), when this ginormous roach lunges itself at me. Seriously, it was going for my throat. I bit back a scream (and by "scream," I mean "tongue") and hopped up relatively quickly for someone of my size, which is to say, very quickly. So I had a few options. I could wake up one of my brothers and ask him to kill the roach - which I quickly ruled out only because all of my brothers fail in the killing-bugs-department for some reason. Can I get an exchange for a bug-killing brother? (just kidding)
I could pretend that the roach wasn't actually there and imagine the problem away (denial works!). Or I could just... kill the roach myself. Blah.

I don't want the roach crawling on my face while I sleep, so I grabbed a bottle of "Natural Roach Killer - Allowing Roaches To Reach A Ripe Old Age Faster Than Normal" and sprayed.

Everywhere. Because it just would. not. die. Actually, it went berserk and ran across my room (me chasing it with a spray bottle). It takes a little while for these young roaches to die naturally. I'm really glad I have this natural stuff instead of the harsher chemically kind, because I sprayed all kinds of things that otherwise could not be sprayed. Like my old laptop. And magazines. And my sock. And this stuff doesn't smell, either. And I'm not afraid to be in the same room with it. Yay for eco-friendly! Yay for killing roaches! Yay for summer!

Time to start taking sunny, sun-flare-y, summery photos. Sans roaches.

Friday, June 4, 2010

pin it forward - what home means to me

A few weeks ago I signed myself up for a blogging round robin coordinated by Victoria of sfgirlbybay. The theme is fairly simple - what home means to me. I didn't give myself enough time to think it through well enough, but a complete edition of what home means to me would keep you scrolling down into infinity, and it changes constantly. So, some basics.

growing green things. because I like breathing oxygen, and there's nothing like eating the fruits of your labor.

tea. always tea.

fresh bread. I don't think there's anything more "home-like" than freshly baked bread. (I've got some rising as I type. :D)

love. this should probably be first, but I just loaded a bunch of images onto Blogger and I can't be bothered to reorganize them. anyway, strong love based on faith.

mini-cupcakes. there is nothing that cannot be solved by mini-cupcakes with sugar sprinkles on top.

an active family. not "so busy we don't know what to do with ourselves" or "i have no time for you" kind of active. the mindful, sharing kind of active.

adventuring. there's never "too little time" for adventure.

beautiful artwork everywhere. surrounding ourselves in beauty.

loving the outdoors. there's not really much to say about this one.

nighttime reading. a love of books is a good habit to have.

homemade and eco-friendly. whenever possible, as much as possible.

beauty and whimsy. everywhere, absolutely everywhere.

books, books, books. every kind, genre, color, shape, whatever. one can never have too many books.

So there you have it, the sweetened condensed version of what home means to me. Tomorrow, check out lovely bud's pin it forward with me (her blog is lovely, I'm looking forward to her post).

What does home mean to you?

(for credits for all of the above photos, visit my Pinterest board, what home means to me.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

i belong in a forest

This past week, in Oklahoma, I was reminded what my favorite sorts of places are. This won't sound so strange (why would I need to be reminded of something that's my favorite?) when you look around you and realize that, while you might be quite content with your current surroundings - so much so, that you actually love it - there are certain things that you have long established as "the best" and simply aren't living that at the moment.

I feel like I'm being even more confusing.
Let me clarify by finishing my story.

While in Oklahoma, I was reminded what my favorite sorts of places were. Each year we stay at my grandparent's house, I automatically get the sunroom, which is an addition to the house that is made of three walls of glass against the side of the house. There is no bed, just a couch, and at night if I leave the lights on too long, bugs come in and fly around. In the morning, if I don't wake up early enough, the room gets too hot to sleep (because I like heavy blankets).

Yet, I can see the fireflies while I lay on the couch. I can see the moon from where I lay on the pillow, and in the morning the sun comes up and streams light into the glass room. It's beautiful. During the day, when I want to get away from the many people in the house, I go to the sunroom where I usually can stay alone because it's too warm for most people's comfort (I like warm!).

The second place I found took a trek through tall grass and biting insects to get to: an old abandoned stable adjacent to a creek surrounded by trees. A lot of the area where we stay is ranch land - a tree here or there at the most. But here I had a whole clump of forest unexpectedly close by. There's nothing like a forest for serenity and peace. I'm happiest when I'm around trees, with the light filtering through their leaves and roots and branches everywhere. (Interesting fact: my sister feels the same way I do - only about open fields.)

I'm blessed to live in a house with lots of windows and a very shady (and therefore tree-y) yard. I love my room with the windows facing north so I get good sunlight morning and night. But I do miss the glass room and that mini-forest (mini-forest especially).

What are your favorite places?m

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the game's up!

Ah yes, the week of mystery is at its end.

Clue 1: a roller coaster - Six Flags Fiesta Texas.

Clue 2: my grandparent's ranch.

Clue 3: my great-aunts potatoes, my second cousin's fishing hole, and fun times.

What was going on? Why, a week of summer traveling of course. We hit a couple of amusement parks - Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, then Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, ran through Dallas to visit an uncle, and ended up in Oklahoma, where we were last year at this time. A great time of cousins, fields, open spaces, and not really doing anything.

One of the highlights of Oklahoma for me pertained to these little berries here. I, for the first time, tried mulberries from this very tree (the black ones - the pretty red ones are still not ready for eating). If you haven't seen what Beth and I did with the juice and a knife, go look.

A little shooting range practice.


I took so many photos, once again I hardly know what to do with them. Hmm, looks like Tumblr will finally be getting used again!

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.


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About a third of the credit for this template goes to The rest of that fraction goes to Tiph's incessant tinkering and exploding the CSS 'til it worked.

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