Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Movin' On Up!

Friends, Followers, and Internet Strangers,


The Orchard News has moved, and will now be located at http://mygreenorchard.wordpress.com/.

Please come join the fun at my new location! There will be delightful posts about weekend culinary experiments, pre-half-marathon-preparations, and an inspirational link or two (as always) featured later this week. Hope to see you all there!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I kind of asked for it...

Remember yesterday when I lamented my lack of original material? Yeah...well, the blogging gods must have heard me and taken pity on my poor uneventful soul, because they coordinated the following to happen today:

So today I went to a wedding shower. When looking over my schedule for the day, the blogging gods apparently only focused in on the word "shower." This became clear as we (St. Patrick's Day Marissa and I) were about 3 minutes from arriving at our destination and due to an unfortunate chain of events, my coffee spilled out of my travel mug like a pent-up stream breaking out of a broken dam. It was essentially what would have happened if the little Dutch boy hadn't kept his finger in the hole in the dam, only the water was coffee and the Netherlands were my khaki pants. We're talking a coffee spill of cataclysmic  proportions, here; call in for back-up support, because my entire left leg is flooded.

It was at this point that a scenario started playing in my head, as is often the case in my head. It's a scenario-playing jungle in there. Anyways, I started to see two versions of the upcoming wedding shower. The first snapshot was of people talking after the shower, saying, "Oh, did you meet Beka, that girl who works at Roberts?" And the second was of people talking after the shower, saying, "Oh, did you meet Beka, that girl who smells like coffee? " When the imaginary conversation went on to include how my right leg was a different color than my left leg, I knew it was time to figure out a solution that led to the enactment of scenario #1.

At the mention of the possibility of finding alternative clothing, Marissa, resourceful as ever, hopped right into action and found a Target 0.2 miles from where we were! What happened in the next five minutes resembled a hybrid combination of The Amazing Race and What Not To Wear. I leapt out of the car while Marissa parked, was hopelessly indecisive in a sea of options, was then rescued yet again by Marissa's good sense, and tried on a skirt that went perfectly with the remaining portions of my original outfit. The scenario-generator started up again when I wondered aloud what would happen if I walked to the front of Target with my pants in hand, wearing the skirt I still needed to purchase and asked the cashier to scan my hip? A Target employee kindly chimed in that I could just rip the tag out and have them scan it in the preferable unattached format. Thank you, Lord. With a clean outfit in hand and record in-store-out-of-store pace in sight, one would think that would conclude this edition of "Embarrassing Moments to Add to the List."

Of course, that's not the end of the story. No, no. Because I'm me, I would drape my coffee-stained pants over my purse and not notice when they fell out during my charge to the front of the store. And an older gentleman would have to chase me down...all the way to the register...to ask if these pants, which I was not wearing or purchasing, were mine? And although tempted to answer otherwise, I had to say, "Yes...oh dear, yes...those are my pants..."

And that, fortunately for one and all, is the end of the story. We made it to the shower exactly on time, where we ate and talked and laughed and basked in the joy of our wonderful, beautiful, soon-to-be-wed friend Christine. And where I was ever so grateful not to be drenched in eau de caffeine.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"It's like asking someone to swallow the sun."

I have been sorely lacking for original blog fodder this week, as witnessed by the daily posting of borrowed materials. I promise to resume personalized accounts of my scintillating life again in the near future, but for tonight, I need to continue the trend of the past week and share this video with you.

This video is beautiful. It's one of the best talks on creativity I have ever encountered. It's ironic that I love it so much, given that the speaker is Elizabeth Gilbert and Eat, Pray, Love is the one book I've started several times and have never been able to finish. (After seeing this, I may give it another go round. It's that good.)

Enjoy, and be encouraged. And after you are done enjoying and being encouraged, check out the organization behind the video, TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. You'll be glued to the website for the next 4 hours or so, but it will be 4 hours well-spent.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


If you see people traipsing around without shoes today, this is probably why:

TOMS is a great company that already does so much to help people in need, and this day of awareness makes them even cooler than they already are (they don't even need these sticky notes!). If you are in the market for a new pair of shoes, consider TOMS! Not only will you get a snazzy new pair of kicks to add to your collection, you will also be donating a pair of shoes to a child in need through TOMS' One for One Program. Who can say no to that?!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knock Knock

Pioneer Woman, will you ever stop sharing products that are too good to be true? I sure hope not, since this morning's post about Knock Knock products made my day. In their own words, Knock Knock is, "a product design company with aspirations to greatness. We concoct, manufacture, and distribute witty objects of cosmopolitan panache from our shamelessly sunny perch on the left-hand coast." And they do not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites:

Corporate Flashcards:

Perfect for the recent graduate entering the working world, these flashcards promise to help the recipient "speak suit in no time!"

"Just Thought You Should Know" Sticky:

Perfect for those times that require subtlety. Oh, the fun I would have with these.

"I Didn't Realize You Were Cool Until" Sticky:

Perfect for letting someone know that they aren't as lame as you thought they were.

Fashion Citation:

Perfect for bringing along on the first warm day of the year when people run amok with a) spring fever and b) ill-advised wardrobe choices.

To Don't List:

Perfect for all of the overachievers in the world who need an anti-productivity list. Myself included.

Reality Check File Folders:

Perfect for making me laugh out loud. This one gets me every time.

I could seriously post their entire website here but I'll stop now before I actually do. If you need a laugh, look no further than Knock Knock. This was an excellent way to start the day.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's just, such, just such a good post.

Christians of the world, let's face it: we're a quirky bunch. Sometimes it irritates me, but most of the time it's fascinating. Which is why I love the website (soon to be book!) Stuff Christians Like. And this post - because of its wrenching truthfulness - made me laugh out loud: 

#96: Using God's favorite word

For centuries, we Christians have secretly used God’s favorite word in all our prayers. To even mention it, I embrace great danger and peril and risk and other words that mean bad things could happen to me. This word, above all others ensures that God will hear your prayers and answer them quickly and awesomely. To put this powerful word in the hands of non-believers could mean that I am banished to the balcony at church and everyone knows that the holy spirit only touches people on the ground floor during service. But I must share. I am of course speaking of the word “just.” Here is how we use it in prayers:

“Lord, just hear us tonight. We just lift up our hands to you and pray that you will just send you love down to us in ways we just can’t understand. Take us just as we are Lord. Just, just. Just, just.”
I added those four for emphasis but it’s not far off from the truth. I’m not sure why we do but I should probably apologize. Next time someone prays you’re going to have highly refined “just radar” and will probably be thinking in your head, “I hate that site stuff christians like.”

(I just want to thank all the people that suggested this word just. There are just too many to thank individually.)

Monday, April 5, 2010


People...I've been MIA for days, and for good reason. And that reason is the pure glory that was Rochester this weekend! OH MY WORD. It was absolutely beautiful. I probably spent 72% of the past 72 hours outside. There's so much to catch up on, so I'll just give you the briefing photo-journal style:

There was a lot of walking. Oh, was there ever a lot of walking. As in multiple trips to the canal, to parks, around the neighborhood, and basically anywhere else my feet would carry me.

There was a lot of sunshine. Oh, was there ever a lot of sunshine. It was over EIGHTY degrees on Friday AND Saturday!!! More delightful weather on an Easter weekend has never been known.

There is no way to relate the total amount of ice cream that was involved.

Same goes for chocolate.

And eggs! As per beloved, annual father-daughter tradition.

And beauty. There was so much beauty in the weather, in friends and family, in the hope that Easter represents. Hope all of you had a beautiful weekend, too!