Ruby Sue
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I really prefer how I look with bangs.

I really want to grow my hair out longer.

But I fear the combination of bangs + long hair.

All I think think about is Cousin Ruby Sue Johnson:

Yes.  My mind does sometimes randomly default to 1989 movie classics.  Why do you ask?  

And yes.  I do consider  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation a "classic."  Doesn't everyone?

So.  Thoughts?  Can bangs and long hair peacefully co-exist?  If anyone can find an image of such a hairstyle that doesn't channel Ruby Sue, send me an email!


Update:  Thanks to my many friends who sent texts/emails/messages with photos and links to hairstyles!  I wish I could take you all with me when I finally make an appointment with my stylist.

My couch is trying to make me miserable.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have an ongoing battle with my sofa.

This couch. It tries to steal my contentment.  It actually does steal my contentment for brief periods.

In this battle, the couch is well-armed against me.  It's weapons are many: It's ugly.  Stained.  Lumpy/Deflated.  (But only on the sides, where we sit.  The middle cushion still retains it's plumpness, which only makes it look worse overall.)

I'm not gonna lie.  Sometimes I almost let the couch win the battle. I come close to turning on my charm and convincing my husband we NEED new living room furniture.  (He wouldn't be hard to convince.  He hates the couch more than I do.)  We NEED to use our emergency savings fund to buy a new, sleek, svelte leather sofa and a couple of matching chairs.  It's practically an emergency. I can't be expected to do battle with a sofa everyday. The thing is taunting me for pete's sake!  We gotta get that stinkin' trouble maker out of our house!

But alas.  We have saving goals and get-outta-debt goals that make it necessary to keep the monstrosity a part of our lives a bit longer. You may win an occasional battle you ugly beast, but I will win the war! 

If you see me pouting, there's a good chance the sofa was waging a particularly fierce battle that day.  Sometimes - it spits random screws out at me. Just drops a screw right out, and I'm never able to quite locate where it came from. The nerve.

And don't even get me started on the recliner.  It's raging against me too.

Not my actual couch.
But in my mind, mine is nearly this hideous.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My kids are taking some classes at the Hodges Community Center here in Lubbock, and while they're in class I've had the chance to enjoy the rose garden that sits in the back of the property.

This Monday, the fragrance from the roses was so powerful that I could smell them well before I approached the garden.  If I hadn't already planned on walking among the roses, the aroma would have lured me in that direction.

I walked through the roses, snapped a few pictures with my phone, and as I kept deliberately and deeply inhaling the fragrance in the air, the Lord reminded me that Christ was a "fragrant offering."  

"Live a life of love."  How simply and elegantly stated.  Love.  Love is the fragrance that draws people.  As I get caught up in "ministry" and friendships and mentorships and relationships of all kinds...I needed this reminder that we all carry an aroma.  A life of love makes us fragrant, and draws people to us, because our love is a reflection of Him.  A life filled up with judgment, disdain, pride and impatience....that kind of life has an odor too.  A repelling odor, that pushes people away, makes their eyes water, and impairs their ability to see Him.

I'm praying His church and His people would be a fragrant aroma; pleasing to the Lord, and inviting to those in need of love.  Which includes every last one of us.  



McCalip Siblings
Monday, October 18, 2010

My mom sent me some pictures she snapped of my grandmother and three of her siblings this weekend.

I brightened this one up, used an effect in called "1960's", and added the McCalip name and the year.  I love it:

From left to right:

Aunt Lorene - The eldest of the siblings.  She graciously sewed all my costumes when I was little, for school plays, Halloween, etc.  (Among my favorites was in around 6th grade when I wanted to be Smurfette, and she figured out how to fashion the white hat to stand up and curl over perfectly.)

Aunt Rita - Aunt Rita and her late husband Jim were among my biggest fans when I was growing up.  They never missed a pageant or talent show or play, driving to other towns if needed.  (And even if I didn't win the contest, I sometimes got a consolation cash prize from Uncle Jim.)  Aunt Rita just made a trip to Lubbock and helped my mom watch the kids a few days while Jonathan and I were out of town.  She's a trooper. (I won't tell you her age....but I'll tell you she doesn't look it!)

Grandma Earlene -  That's my grandma! I've written about my grandparents here.  She's the second youngest of the 7 of the McCalip siblings.

Uncle Albert - He's the youngest of the 7 McCalip siblings. Growing up, I learned there was a good chance Uncle Albert could be found eating breakfast at Hardee's with a group of his friends.  I saw him there one mid-morning in high school, when my friend Amy and I were skipping school to procure concert tickets.  If he wondered why we were there on a school day he didn't say anything. I don't think he would have ratted me out anyway, even if he was suspicious.


Friday, October 15, 2010

I was watching my almost 7 year old, as he raced his toy car across all the surfaces in my kitchen. Across the bar, around the sink, and finally as he ramped it off the counter, crashing it onto the floor below.  All of this was completed with glorious sound effects, up to and including an impressive explosion sound when it hit the floor.

It suddenly hit me that my 8 and half year old rarely plays with his cars like that anymore.  If he plays with them at all, it's certainly not with that kind of self-abandon.

So I just sat and enjoyed the almost 7 year old for as long as possible.



He Said...She Said
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Today and tomorrow, Jonathan and I will be blogging over at, answering questions about marriage and children.

Come check it out!  Jonathan is up first, followed by my answers tomorrow.


Cousin Jessy's Black Bean Salsa
Sunday, October 10, 2010

I don't think my cousin invented this salsa. But I got the recipe from her, so in my house, it's called

"Cousin Jessy's Black Bean Salsa."  

It's gooooood.

Gather ingredients:


Dice onion and tomatoes.  I just learned how to dice an onion.  For the 2 of you reading who don't already know how, here's a lesson.

Aren't purple onions pretty?

Mix together all ingredients except avocados, and put in fridge to chill.  Dice avocados immediately before serving and add to salsa. 

So.  I'm obviously not a food photographer.  It tastes better than this picture looks.

 Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!  Take this to your next football party.  Your friends will love you!


Black Bean Salsa recipe:

2 cans black beans, drained
1 can shoepeg corn, drained (regular corn is fine as well)
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, diced
1 small red onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Lime juice, about 6 tblsp. (takes about 6 limes)
Red wine vinegar, about 6 tblsp.
Olive oil, ΒΌ cup
Cumin, 4 tblsp (this seems like a lot, but it needs all 4 tblsp)
Salt and pepper to taste
Tortilla chips

Mix all ingredients except avocados.  Chill in fridge.  Add diced avocados just prior to serving.  Serve with tortilla chips.



Sewing 101 Apron + Trend Me
Friday, October 1, 2010

Here's my first project from the Sewing 101 class I'm taking with some friends! 

How cute is this apron?  Cute, right?  Yeah. I think so too.  I used a pattern and everything. 

Nevermind that I don't really cook and don't wear aprons.  Maybe I'll start.

The cute cherry fabric was among the fabrics my grandma gave me, and the ladies in my sewing class helped me choose the red polka dots to match.

I didn't sew Lauryn's outfit.  But she saw the camera and naturally assumed she was needed for a photo op.

Live in Lubbock?  Wanna join us for Sewing 101?  We meet every other Monday night from 7:00-9:00.  Hit that "contact me" button up there on the right if you want more info. We'd love to have you.

And speaking of sewing class, let me tell you about my new friend Jennifer who's in class with me! She owns a super cool shop here in Lubbock:

They buy, sell, and trade name brand clothing and accessories.  Find them on facebook and go check them out!   Seriously.  Go.  You'll love it.



Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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