Month: June 2014

June Rush Part 1

Alright, I have had an interesting two weeks….
Interesting in the sense that nothing happened the first, and then A TON happened the second.
This post will just go over week one at the moment though because I think it would be more fitting to break these two up as their experiences were polar opposites…
So without further ado…
Week One:
Week one I went to stay with a group of school sisters, the School Sisters of Christ the King, for a week.
They have summer mission programs every year where they invite high school girls to come and help them lead summer camps.
This was my third year attending and I thought I knew exactly how it would go.
I did not expect nothing.
Well…. I can’t truly say NOTHING, but compared to my past years, it certainly seems like nothing. Last year we (us “helpers” who were staying in the Sisters guest house) ate cake EVERY NIGHT! On Thursday night, known as “Broadway Night”, my group and I rewrote Tangled’s “When Will My Life begin” to describe our very exciting week.
The year before that was my first time ever and I hiked on train tracks with a consecrated sister (different from nuns as sisters are not cloistered) and played a VERY competitive game of softball. Who knew holy women could be so hard core…
So what happened this year?
A game of volleyball because softball got blown out (read: wind was VERY strong), a week of helping kids who were almost to good, and a few skits.
It was so quiet… I was pretty disappointed. And then I come back and find that, despite her promise to have it completed by the time I returned, my room was still unpacked. Completely unpacked. The morning of the 21st I had to retake the SAT because my scores were cancelled the first time (not my fault)… the point is, that week was pretty disappointing. Until I realized that the entire week I was with the Sisters, because I had nothing holding me down, or to keep my mind hopping from one minute to the next I could actually concentrate on the most important thing in my life that I never pay attention to… my relationship with Jesus. Rather then nodding off during holy hour or constantly checking the time and waiting for it to be over I actually prayed and had a conversation with the Lord, discussing my life, what he wants for my future, and just anything that was on my mind. It was wonderful.
So yeah, maybe my week wasn’t the most exciting and fun week I’d ever had, but it was the week I needed this year to prepare myself for the coming move and senior year… the start of a new life as an actual adult (18 this fall. Yikes!). In short, the Lord gave me a quiet week because, as much as I hate quiet weeks, I needed this one desperately and guess what.. I didn’t have a clue that I did until the Lord gave it to me.
So yeah, there’s Week One of my crazy June Rush.

A Tragedy

On Wednesday night out in Phoenix Arizona two catholic priests were attacked in their parish. One of them was killed, and the other remains in critical but stable condition.
Fr. Kenneth Walker and Fr. Joseph Terra of Mother of Mercy Mission Church are religious order priests in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, commonly known as the F.S.S.P.
For those who don’t know, the F.S.S.P. is dedicated to offering the Traditional Latin Mass.
What is that?
It’s the catholic mass that my grandparents attended when they were young. For years it was the only catholic mass offered, until the 1970s or 1980s I think, when they wrote the Norvis Ordo. You’d have to check me on that time line though…
In short, it is a beautiful celebration of the sacrament of the mass, and my family have been attending it for about 5 years now.
Fr. Terra, pastor of Mother of Mercy Mission church, sustained severe injuries in the attack.
Fr. Walker, assistant pastor, was shot and killed in the attack. He was only 28 years old, and had just celebrated the second anniversary of his ordination.
This is a terrible loss not just to their families and parish, but to all.
My parish offered special masses for them yesterday, and though I was unable to attend, my parents and younger brother did.
My Mom told me that one of our own young priests who’d been ordained the same year as Fr. Walker looked stricken.
I don’t blame him.
This is nothing short of horrific.
I ask for prayers for comfort and peace for the parishioners of Mother of Mercy, and for the families of the two priests.
And especially prayers for the repose of the soul of Fr. Kenneth Walker.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

If you wish to read more about the two priests and the attack, there is a complete article on the Phoenix New Times website.

Rifles, Hatchets, and Horses, Oh My!

I have had quite an interesting weekend!

My Mom took me and my sister Ally on a Moms and Daughters campout Sunday evening. We went to a state park nearby where they had a ton of activities! We met a couple other families from our church, and got there just in time for archery. After that we headed to the cabin, unpacked, and then played games the rest of the evening, most of us waiting for it to get dark. When at last the sun was gone and the stars came out we played a game we came up with ourselves which we fondly called Seekers. It’s like a mutant ghost in the Graveyard, if you are familiar with that game. If anybody is interested I’ll post the rules later.
We stayed up till past midnight, but the next morning I was still up before 6 along with two of my friends.
Monday was filled with rifle shooting (tons of fun), hatchet throwing (wasn’t the best, but wasn’t the worst), and paddle boating.
Another popular game we played was street hockey. I had never played it before, and loved it! We also played Life the card game, Psychiatrist, Signs, Catchphrase, and Mafia.
As you’ve probably gathered any time we friends are together our lives pretty much revolve around what game or activity we are doing next. You know, AFTER we’ve all talked for about an hour on anything from what’s for lunch to what we should do next, which we end up not doing for another hour. Typical highschool/homeschool girls. ;-P
Oh, and I also went horse back riding for the first time ever!!!!
It was amazing! Of course me, being me, was assigned a horse named Storm. He wasn’t exactly temperamental, but he kept wanting to eat from the side of the trail, and I just got this feeling he thought a first time rider was below him. Still, it was a lot of fun!!

So, the big question… what’s the next post gonna be? Well, for future posts I was thinking of doing a series about BBC shows. Not exactly a review, but more like an in depth study of the characters, their personalities, and what makes them so popular. I did a similar kind of post once upon a time and far far away in another part of the web world, and I got a fairly good response to it.
I’ll also be posting more short stories and possibly some poetry in the future.
I’ll continue doing recipes as well, but I don’t know when I’ll next have time for cooking.
I’m going to be out of town the next couple weeks, but will try to have some posts lined up to put up on the weekends I’m home.

Until then, so long! Farewell! Allons-y!

Memories: A Short Story

Here we are! Another original short story for you all!
I hope you enjoy. This one is a bit different…

Memories

“The details are a little fuzzy…”
“That’s alright.”
The bright light was lowered a bit, and I could see the shadowy figure sitting behind the desk. I didn’t like him.
“Just tell us what you remember,” the man behind me prompted. It wasn’t that I couldn’t tell them. I most certainly could. The problem was I wasn’t going to tell them. What right did they have to my memories of that night? That night when everything I knew to be true was stolen from me. The man behind the desk was leaning forwards.
“We can help you, you don’t have to be afraid to speak.”
“I’m not,” I snapped sharply, and I could sense the anger gathering in him.
“You were walking with your boyfriend…” the man behind me said slowly. He was eyeing his partner in the interrogation. I smirked. At least one of them was smart. I tossed my head as I answered.
“My fiancé, actually,” I corrected him. “And yes, we were talking about the trip he was going to be taking to Chicago.”
“I see,” the smart one said pleasantly. ” You must have been excited, but do you remember..”
“We were in the middle of the park, out of sight of anyone,” I interrupted. I was going to speak for myself, and not have words drawn out of me like a puppet. “I didn’t notice anything strange, but Henry was nervous. I wasn’t sure about what.”
The two men were listening carefully now, hanging on my every word. I relished in it.
“And then something happened?” the one behind the desk said slowly. “What happened?”
I scrunched my face, pretending to think hard. I saw them waiting, not even breathing. This was going to be fun. I shrugged, and looked at them rather confused.
“I don’t remember,” I said, cackling like a witch inwardly.
“Are you sure?” the man behind the desk, Mr. Bad Cop, demanded. “You remember nothing? Not even a color?”
“Black maybe,” I said, a bit unsure of myself. Or at least I made sure they thought I was. “I think I got knocked out…” I shook myself, and looked at them squarely.
“Where is Henry?”
“I’m afraid…” the nice man began when Mr. Bad Cop cut in.
“He is on a business trip.”
“In Chicago?” I asked, innocently sounding enough.
“Elsewhere. I’m afraid he was needed for a more urgent situation.”
“But he’ll be back soon?”
“Of course,” Nice Cop said comfortingly. “In the meanwhile, I suggest you get some rest. Things were rather crazy last night I’m sure.” He helps me up and leads me to the door under the stern gaze of Bad Cop. I step outside, and the door closes. At least, it almost closes. There’s just the smallest crack, and I’m able to listen to them easily.
“Why did you let her go?” Bad Cop demanded.
“She doesn’t remember a thing, all she knows is her Fiancé disappeared last night,” Good Cop answered, sounding patient, as if he’s heard this tirade before.
“She is a potential theat. If she remembers anything about…”
“She won’t. She is traumatized, and wants to believe her Fiancé is safely in another part of the world and will come back home to sweep her off her feet and down the aisle. She doesn’t remember a thing.”
Behind the door I grinned. They were wrong. I remembered everything.

So what did you guys think? Good? Bad? incomplete? Needs a full novel?
Let me know!

A Matter of Faith

Today I’d like to share an update on moving with you.
This week my parents are away on a house hunting trip. To be honest it’s hoped to be (and looking more like) a house buying trip. In the process of negotiating and attempting to buy our dream house, however, there have been a couple scares.
The first one was that the sellers wanted (quite unreasonably I might add) far more in interest money then my parents were willing to provide, and there were a couple of other things I think. My parents replied that is was either what they were willing to offer or they’d walk. The sellers accepted our first offer.
Then yesterday the sellers were second guessing due to some wording in the contract, and my parents were once again worried we wouldn’t get the house, and so they started looking at back up plans.
Last night, probably right before my parents officially gave up all hope, the agent called and said they’d signed the papers.
Now, through out all of this I was praying harder then I have in a long while.
I’m a Christian. I’m a Catholic in fact, so I was raised knowing how to pray, and why it’s so important. Putting that into practice… well, I’ve let it fall on the wayside now and again, sadly.
I’m trying to start fresh again.
Monday, shortly before I learned about the sellers count offer, I prayed a rosary.
After hearing about the counter offer, I prayed that my rosary had been heard, that we’d get this house.
Then I remembered something… I’d said the wrong mysteries during my rosary.
That right there shows how often I pray the rosary. I had mixed up Monday’s and Tuesday’s mysteries, and instead of saying the Joyful I said the Sorrowful.
Needless to say when you are praying for a new house, reading meditations about accepting setbacks, and trusting in God’s will, and… well, suffering… it can be kind of discouraging.
That night though, my mom called and said the sellers had accepted the first offer.
Hoorah!
I prayed a second rosary because that was such a relief. With the right mysteries that time, the Joyful, which fit perfectly with my mood because I was joyful.
And that’s when I came across this meditation.
“We can count on God’s answers to our prayers, but often in unexpected ways – A stable for a room.”
I laughed.
You see, I have had my own room for about 5 years now. Our new house, however, does not have enough bedrooms for that, so I’m being stuck back in with my younger sister. What it does have though is an AMAZING barn! Heated tack room…fencing… it’s beautiful, according to my parents.
So I am essentially trading my room for a stable.
It was this small sign from God that I knew, I just knew this was going to happen.
Now I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to share that. It really means so much more to me then it could to anyone else. I wasn’t sure if any one else would understand the thoughts I had when I first read that. When I read that meditation I felt like God had put that there just for me to find at that moment. To let me know that that was our house.
That’s a bit hard for someone on the outside to understand… which is why even when I was praying I was wondering whether I’d share that with anyone. But God works in mysterious ways, and not 2 minutes later, on the next decade…
‘Anna, in the scene that follows this passage [the presentation at the temple], “talked about the child to all.” My encounters with Christ should lead to evangelization.’
Well I have no idea if this will lead to evangelization for anyone, but like Anna, I’m sharing my very little encounter with Christ.
Things are still shaky concerning the house, and I’m still praying hard, but I have to believe that A Stable for a Room wasn’t just my mind playing tricks on me, or my imagination having some fun.
When I read it… it just felt so real! So true!
And I’m not saying I don’t believe in coincidences, but some things are just to closely connected to not be planned.

Recipe Review: 2 ingredient ice cream

Hello! I have always wanted to do one of these!
This is my first ever… *drumroll* recipe review!
I have not been asked to say any of this, and am not being paid for it either.

2 Ingredient Ice Cream

This is a recipe I found on blogilatesTV youtube channel. Blogilates is a website run by fitness trainer Cassey Ho. She has over 100 works out videos up, and the variety is amazing!
I’ve been doing her work outs for about 3 weeks now… almost a month. This past week I’ve taken on some of her recipes, and this was the first I tried.

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 TBSP Peanut Butter
Around 2 TBSP of Almond Milk

Cut banana into little “coins” and freeze for a couple hours.
Once frozen, blend with peanut butter and milk until thick and creamy.

Review:
It was delicious! It tasted just like ice Cream, and was so cold and creamy… the perfect treat for a summer day!
I added come chocolate almond milk for a bit of that peanut butter/chocolate goodness, but regular almond milk would work fine, or if you don’t have almond, regular milk. If you don’t like peanut butter, you don’t have to add peanut butter, or you could add honey. Or you could blend the banana and peanut butter before freezing… that last one was not my own idea, but one I got from the comments on the recipe.

Point is, there are a million ways to make this!

This recipe makes about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of ice Cream, which should be about 120 calories I think.
You can double check me on that though.

If you enjoyed hearing about this recipe, comment and say so! I’d like to make more these, so share your thoughts! What kind of recipes do you think I should try?

Plot Attack: A Short story

Alrighty now… this is a short story I wrote about five months ago. My younger sister who also writes was getting attacked by a plot cobra (see Erin’s Blog, Definitions. Sorry, I haven’t figured out links yet ;-P ) and was inspired.

Plot Attack

I felt the slick reptilian coils close around my head, writhing and slithering tighter around me, squeezing the very life from my being. Images, snippets of conversation, and names ran through my mind, unbidden and unwanted. I could feel the beast’s hold on my tightening, and I was oh so tempted to give into it, let everything go. Then there was a knock on my door. With a gasp, I found myself back in my own room, sitting at my desk with a pencil in hand. The knock came again.
“Come in,” I called, my voice a bit shaky. I set the pencil down as my sister poked her head into my room.
“Hey, Erin’s on the phone for you,” she said, looking me over curiously. “What are you doing?”
“None of your business,” I snapped, still a bit shaky from my close escape of my latest tormentor. With a shrug my sister closed the door again, leaving me alone. I quickly grabbed the phone from my desk.
“Hello?”
“Iris!” came the greeting from the other end. “What’s up?”
“It’s getting stronger! I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up…”
“Calm down,” Erin said quickly, “what’s happened? Isn’t the ink working?”
“No! And I’ve been using it since it was a bunny! Then it got bigger…”
“It’s a cobra now?”
“More like a boa constrictor!” I groan. “I can’t even get my math done without filling my notebook with names and notes… I promised myself I wouldn’t give in to it!”
“I know,” Erin says calmly, patiently. “Remember, you are an author. You can fight this. You will not start writing a new story till you finish at least the first draft of the one you are working on.”
“I can’t wait, Erin… When I tried writing my novel, I ended up writing IT instead!”
There was a silence over the phone as I waited for my best friend, and thankfully more senior author, to reply.
“This is serious,” Erin agreed after a moment. “There is something you can do, but it is very drastic, and only to be used in the most serious of cases. I myself have only used it once.”
“What is it?” I asked eagerly, desperate to rid myself of the story I knew I could not let myself write.
“There is a little shop no one goes to, not often anyway,” Erin explained as I jotted down her words eagerly. “It is on the main street of town, just a block from the library, right across from the Classic’s cafe and bookstore. You go in, and it will look like a stationary shop. But the owner is a specialist. You go in, and ask for a cure. The shop keeper will ask how serious your ailment. In your case I suggest asking for a cure for insanity. They will take you to a back room and talk you through the procedure from there. You won’t be tortured by your story again.”
“Thank you!” I cried in relief. “Do you mind if I call you back in an hour?”
“Not at all. Go rid yourself of your ghost story!”

Usually on such blustery days I would be shouting defiance to the wind, my creaky bike brakes, and various other offenders. Not that day. No, I was to relived I was so close to relief that all I could do was pedal faster and faster. Past the library I went, left on main street…. and then there it was. A tiny stationary store. I pulled my bike into the bike rack at the cafe across the street, and then walked across to the store. I pushed the door open, and breathed in the musty and welcoming smell of ink and paper. Agony seared through my mind as an image of troll drenched in honey invaded my consciousness. I walked as quickly as I could up to the deserted front desk and desperately rang the bell. a young man, probably about 20 or so, walked out of a back room and approached me. In a flash of pure torture, I saw him in armor battling the troll from before. This had to stop.
He gave me a welcoming smile that, I won’t deny, caused my heart to do a somersault.
“Hello, how may I help?” he asked, cordial as can be.
“I need a cure, fast,” I said quickly.
“Ah, what kind of cure are you looking for?” he inquired, and he pulled a form out from under the counter.
“A cure for insanity,” I said. He nodded, scratching a few notes down before going through the back door once more. I waited. My foot tapped against the ancient oak floor. At last, the young man returned, and nodded me through.
“Just in back please, miss,” he said, pointing the way for me. “First door on the left.”
I stepped into the back, shivers beginning to run up and down my spine. as I went, the hall seemed to lengthen, and then shorten, stretching out like a snake. I practically dove into the first door, at the very end of the hall. I was surprised by what I found. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t a dentists chair. The shivers grew more violent. I hated going to the dentist. I hated fillings. I pretty much hated anyone messing with my teeth, and that chair was a shining symbol of that kind of thing. Out of the shadows stepped a man. He certainly was no dentist, that I could tell. He was tall, and quite old. He had thin gray hair and a long French mustache on his lip. He looked down at me with cold gray eyes.
“You are in need of a cure for insanity, are you?” he asked, his voice gruff .
Having lost all ability to form my own words, I nodded. He motioned me to the chair.
“Just sit here, my dear,” he said. I sat down. He pulled a kind of apron around me, and then took a pair of glasses from a nearby table. He held them before me.
“These will pull from your mind any trace of the plot that so torments you,” he explained. “Whenever you finish your current novel, these glasses will be automatically shipped to you location. When you put them on, all memory of your plot will return to you, and you will be free to proceed in writing it. Do you wish to continue?”
“Yes,” I croak. The man nods, and places the glasses on my. I was jerked away from the world of reality, and into my own mind.
I saw the story, just as I envisioned it. There was the troll turning cows into jelly beans, and there was the knight who’s sword was made out of plastic, a magic plastic that could make anything dance the chicken dance with just one touch. Ah, and there was the talking pig who spoke 47 different languages from ancient Arabic to pig Latin. The final battle, between the jelly bean troll and the knight of chicken dances. I knew just how it would end. I knew it all. The knight was going to… wait, what was who going to do? Darkness enveloped my mind, and I fell.
When I woke up, I had the oddest sensation. I had been thinking about something… but what? It slipped from my mind like jelly from a half eaten donut. I couldn’t remember. The door behind me opened and the young man I had first spoken to entered.
“How do you feel?” he asked, as he took the apron off of me. I briefly wondered what had happened to the glasses I’d been wearing, but discarded the thought shortly after.
“Fine,” I said, quite cheerfully.
“Do you remember anything?” he asked me. I frowned, searching my memory.
“I remember there was something that kept tormenting me,” I said. “I can’t remember what, though.”
“Good,” he said with a grin. “Your plot will be shipped to you when you have need of it. Thank for you for using The Author’s Relief Plot Attack Defense program.”
I grinned back at him, and then walked back down the hallway. It was just a regular hallway this time, nothing weird or sinister about it, and I happily skipped out of the shop, racing over to the nearest pay phone. I scrambled for a quarter, and then phoned Erin.
“Guess what!” I cried as soon as she answered.
“You’re free?” she guessed.
“Yes!” I shrieked.
“That’s great!” she said. “Now that you are, how were you planning on getting your MC out of the vat of caramel?”
I froze.
“Ummm… what would it be called when you don’t know what to do next?”
“You mean writer’s block?”
“Yeah, I think I have that. Do you have a cure?”
A moment of silence.
“Yes,” Erin says at last. “It’s a pill called get-in-front-of-your-computer-lazy-pants-and-write!”

Hello There!

That is probably the most over used first blog title but who cares!

Hello! My name is Iris. I am a 17 year old girl. I am homeschooled, and am currently bouncing between my junior and senior year of high school. Terrifying. So why start a blog in such a tumultuous time of my life? To smooth the Road, and to bring into perspective the Unexpected Journeys that come my way.

Me and my family will be moving to a different state in two months time, so I’m sure you can imagine the craziness of balancing school, packing, a job, and the extra curricular activities I am still a part of.

This blog is where I will releasing my inner thoughts. There will be short stories, and excerpts from projects I’m working on, as I am an aspiring writer. There will be posts on my personal opinions of world problems, and political views. There will be the over excited cries of a fangirl who’s heart is played with by her adored authors. There will a few posts that I do in relation to my journey towards physical fitness.

In short, this will be a patchwork of everything and anything that comes into my head.

So come, shall we embark on this journey together?