"been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down…"

Category: Quotes & Thoughts

An Update: Been Listening

I have not been updating this blog for many reasons: a demanding (but much-loved) new job, a lot of weaving, and an emotional hell of a winter. It happened gradually. What I thought would be a quick break to allow me to finish up some weaving projects became a several-month-long hiatus. In that time–to my surprise–I have received emails, texts, and in-person requests that I continue the blog. So, though I can’t promise I will update every day as I once did, I am going to place renewed effort in this project I started nearly two years ago. I’ve met a lot of new people making incredible things and shaking up life down here in Durham, North Carolina. I’ve found a lot of beautiful things all over the internet. I’m excited to start sharing them all with you again. I think you’ll love them.

Today though, I offer up an impromptu “Been Listening” post as it seems quite fitting. I’ve written about my good friend’s band The Relatives before on this blog. Recently they wrote and recorded a song inspired by the events in my life the past six months. It’s a beautiful, sad, prayerful song, and I’m so thrilled that something so beautiful has sprung from what has been a pretty painful period. I love being reminded of how talented and wonderful this friend is, and so thankful to have her in my life.

Pushed Around from Relatives on Vimeo.


Durham, North Carolina

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I drove this beast from Ohio to North Carolina.

Well, the move is over, but the chaos is not. It will probably still be another week or two until I’m back to my regular postings; there’s just so much to do to set up in a new town! We’re loving it here though, and things are exciting and scary and new and we’re full of all sorts of mushed up feelings. Everything still seems unfamiliar. Though Kris already has the town mapped out perfectly in his brain, I get lost the minute I get more than two minutes away from our apartment. We still feel a bit like we’re on vacation, wondering when we have to turn around and go back. I suspect we’ll be experiencing “pinch me” moments for a while yet.

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Right now I’m sitting in my new apartment, sun flooding in through the windows, while a load of laundry runs in our hand-me-down washer (thanks Andy and Katie!). We went four days without water when we first arrived and it’s nice to here it running in the background after having gone without. We’re a short walk away from a brewery, a coffee shop, several food trucks, the farmer’s market, and two outdoor restaurants. Heaven? Pretty much. Our house is still a mess, and we’re knee deep in make-it-yourself projects with my Mom set to arrive for a visit in a week and Kris’s parents in about two and a half weeks. We’re still feeling the craziness, and will for a while I suspect, but it’s a wonderfully new feeling for us.

In short, this post is my attempt to blanket-address all of those people who have been begging me for updates. If you don’t me, I apologize if you’re here for the design features I usually do. I promise, they will return soon. And if you do know me, I will be trying to drop you a real email in the coming days. In the meantime, some photos from the move…

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Zooey tries to find some normalcy amidst the chaos.

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Hush puppies from our first meal at Geer Street Garden. Our first night in town.

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Already enjoying the variety of living in a city. Kris waits for his meal at Bull City Burger.

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Eating (and drinking) at Motorco with Rachel Pattin and Mama Pattin before Rachel departed for the mountains.

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In our days without water and electricity I grabbed a delicious coffee before work: Counter Culture Coffee from Cocoa Cinnamon.

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One of the lovely, large, bright windows in our new home. I love the light in this place and all the trees I can see from my windows.

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I think this is the first time I saw Zooey actually get comfortable in the new house. It took her a few days.

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The bedroom. Still unfinished, but we’re getting somewhere.

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Planted these guys the day after we arrived in celebration of all the sunlight in the apartment.

Blogging and Moving

I know, I haven’t blogged in a week and a half. My excuse, you ask? Not only have I been sick, but I am currently packing up 7 years of my life into boxes with my boyfriend and my cat and moving across the country… in less than two weeks. Yup, I’m freaking out a bit. And yeah, I’m insanely busy. And guess what, blogging and moving are proving to be mutually exclusive activities. For that, I apologize.  Rather than confound everyone with my continued absence, I’m going to make it official. I’m taking a blogging hiatus until settled in my new home in Durham, North Carolina. I may get a few posts up here and there (trust me, I’ve found so many things I’m longing to write about), but it is unlikely. I have fully accepted that. For now, enjoy this snapshot of my cat, who is starting to pudge up again thanks to Kris’s generous hand when it comes to measuring out her food.


Durham, NC


Apologies for the blogging hiatus, but a speedy trip down to Durham last weekend, a job offer, and a change in our moving date by a whole six weeks has made for a stressful, busy, no-time-for-blogging kind of week. Yup, that’s right, we are moving May, 23rd! We couldn’t be more scared/excited/thrilled/anxious/happy/sad. Ultimately, though, we are ready to embrace this new adventure. So here it is, photos from our new home, Bull City, Dirty Durham, Calf Town, what have you…


Our new house.

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Rose’s meat market and sweet shop.

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Vintage letters from old signs stored in an old warehouse selling vintage furniture, rugs, and decor.

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Dream rug. Handwoven.

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Cocoa Cinnamon. A cafe set up in an old gas station. Brilliantly good.

The Sunshine Award


Thanks to Hadorable for nominating my blog for a Sunshine Award! A photographer living in France, Hadorable‘s blog is a trove of inspiration, filled with beautiful photographs of her travels, daily life, and adorable daughter, as well as the beginnings of a collection of Vietnamese recipes. Her nominating me is a testament to the creative community that builds up so quickly through blogging–and that’s what the Sunshine Award is about. The Sunshine Award helps to connect bloggers, build encouragement, and promote the work of other bloggers to create a network of inspiration.

The Rules:

          1. Include the Sunshine Award icon in your post and/or on your blog
          2. Link to the blogger who nominated you
          3. Answer 10 questions about yourself
          4. Nominate 10 other bloggers to receive the award
          5. Link to your nominees and let them know you nominated them
          6. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer

The Ten Questions I have to answer:

1 What is your nickname? My most common nickname over the years has been “Lies” (also spelled Lize, and Liez). I didn’t think you could shorten Liza, but apparently you can. In high-school my friends joked that the Arcade Fire song “Rebellion (Lies)” was about me. Alternatively I’ve been called “Liza-loo” “Tall Girl” and “Stupid.”

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2 If you describe yourself thru a character from a movie, show, book, or whatever…who will you be? I would like to think I’m a rather strong and self-assertive character, and maybe I have become more so over the years, but I found myself mirrored most in a novel in the shy and unassuming Elizabeth-Jane from Thomas Hardy’s Mayor of Casterbridge. I was immediately struck by how similar I was to that character: all of her thoughts were ones I seem to have had at the time and her struggles with learning to trust people, her constant wish to please, and her efforts to improve herself and open herself to new experiences seemed to map almost perfectly with mine. She is a bit of a shy mouse though, who accepts her fate, good and bad, without fight or strife.

3 What is your purpose to start a blog? This blog has been a way for me to involve myself more in the creative arts. I would love for it to expand in more connective ways though as I begin to develop my own craft work.

4 Cat or dog? I love both. But I will always choose to own a cat.


5 What is your all-time favourite town or city? Why? Some of my favorite places I’ve ever been have been in France. I especially loved Arles. There’s a fondness in me for Paris and Prague as well. Funny thing is, these are all places I visited with my best friend Katie. I’m sure that has had a profound impact on how I feel about those places, and many of my memories of them revolve around our time together. I also love Durham, North Carolina, where my boyfriend and I are moving in the spring–but part of that may be pure anticipation.


6 What is the strangest thing you believed as a child? I genuinely, 100% thought I could float. Not fly. Float. I believed this so much that I still have memories in which my view of myself is about 2 and 1/2 feet off the ground moving my arms as though swimming through water.

7 What is one of your favourite habits you have? My morning routine: coffee and a book and at least half an hour of that quiet space to myself. I get up way earlier than I need to just to fit this in.


8 Do you think people can control their own destiny? I believe we can change our lives by the stories we tell ourselves. I believe everyone should learn to tell more positive stories.

9 What do you think people think of you? I’m afraid of what people think of me, but I’m okay with that fear. And I am certain of the people who love me. And I’m okay with that list too.

10 What is your favourite quote?  I have a lot, but I’ll share a beautiful one from Anne Carson’s Nox:

“I will consign fear and sadness to the sea.”


My Nominees: 

I find these blogs inspiring, enjoyable, fun, or all of the above on a daily basis…


The Ten Questions I’m Asking:

  1. What was your favorite toy as a child?
  2. When you were 10, what did you want to be?
  3. If you were to marry a fictional character, who would it be?
  4. What is your favorite part of your day?
  5. Where are you right now and why are you there?
  6. What is inspiring you today?
  7. What is your favorite tool to use?
  8. If you were to take up a risky hobby, what would it be?
  9. How do you take your coffee? (or tea)?
  10. Morning or night?

Image Credit: Mine, all mine.

A Second Polar Vortex

There are no words for how much ice and snow and cold are in this town right now. I am too grumpy to describe it.

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Image credit: Kristoffer Lemmon.

Reckless Indeed

“Winter in Ohio was especially rough if you had an appetite for color. Sky provided the only drama, and counting on a Cincinnati horizon for life’s principal joy was reckless indeed.” — Beloved, Toni Morrison.

I have never been able to quite explain to people the oppressive grayness that comes with winter in Ohio. Nor how much it consumes you. Bleak is the defining term. I would post a picture, but it wouldn’t be at all interesting. Reckless to hope for color in a landscape so defined by the lack of it.