Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Two days ago I was going to make "extreme" nachos (homeade salsa, nachos with bell pepper, zuchinni, cilantro, ground beef, tomatoes, a minute amount of onions, and lots of cheese) and watch a movie ("Get Smart" to be exact). I went to Baywood Foods which is the closest grocery store and is right next to First Choice where we rent movies. The grocery store did not have cilantro (which I consider the most important element in extreme nachos) and the movie store did not have "Get Smart." I called Bobby to let him know that I was going to have to go to Wal-mart. This was our conversation:

Emily: I am going to be a little later because Baywood didn't have cilantro and First Choice didn't have "Get Smart."

Bobby: That's a bummer

E: I guess I will have to go to Wal-mart (sigh). Do you know of any grocery stores that are closer?

B: John Hitchens said that Big Chief has the best and cheapest produce

E: But Wal-mart is closer than Big Chief. Big Chief is 5 miles away.

B: But I thought you said Wal-mart was 6 miles away.

E: No, I said Wal-mart was 3.5 to 4 miles away.

I recorded this conversation merely to open for the rest of the story of my weird habit/talent. My weird habit is calculating the number of miles to various frequented locations. Also calculating the average number of minutes it takes to drive or walk or run somewhere. I also calculate landmarks along the way so that I know how good my time is, etc. For example, I knew that to get back and forth from Wal-mart to where I was would take about 8.25 minutes or so. I could go through all the reasons why, but I won't.

My talent is calculating how long it will take to get somewhere. When I go to work I know that it takes me 6 minutes driving, 1-2 minutes in the parking lot, and less than 1 minute to walk through the mall to Mastercuts. Therefore, I leave 10-15 minutes before I need to be at work. I have never bought a stopwatch because that would drive me crazy. I would be timing to the second.

I honed this ability playing a game with my brother on our way to church. Houston Church was quite a distance from our house (19 miles) and so Joseph and I would play a game trying to see who could guess the most accurately what time we would arrive at church. I knew that the average was about 22 minutes when the church was on Woodridge and 27 minutes when it moved to Eldridge. So, I would guess based on landmarks (like whether we were on the freeway or not or whether we had passed a certain exit or not). I usually won. I knew how many exits there were and that they were about a mile apart each which meant about 1 minute per exit. So, that usually helped. If there was traffic, I timed how long it took on average for certain flows of traffic and used that in my guessing the next time. I know for a fact that if you are going at least 20 miles an hour on the freeway you should not get off. It isn't faster.

Somehow I calculate when we will arrive somewhere pretty well. When I cooked meals this past weekend one of our staff commented that the food finishes right before it is time to ring the bell. "I time it that way" I said.

With all of this ability, knowing how to calculate time, I usually put about ten more things on my 'to do' list than I can actually do. Well, more like 3 things to be exact.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I feel like writing but don't know what to write about. What is on my mind, however, is how much I love my husband.

Marriage is an interesting thing. After five years my husband can make me more mad than anyone else, but when we are mad at each other it is the worst feeling in the world. I would rather forgive him than be at odds. It doesn't mean that I don't act the martyr once in a while or almost every time we fight but our fighting doesn't last for long. In fact, the longer we are married the less time it takes us to make up.

A fight could last all night when we first got married. In fact, one memorable night we started close to after dinner, we yelled and slammed doors and walked off and came back and did it again. We ended up being so tired that we tried to go to bed but we kept each other up fighting. So, we turned on the lights and fought some more. Finally we were so exhausted we decided to go to Denny's because maybe we needed to get out of the house. We hadn't exactly made up, I think we might have bickered in the car, but as we sat there, in Denny's, we began to talk normally and it was better. I think we went to bed around 3. We were so tired when we got to Denny's that we didn't stay long. That was all night and I can't even remember what it was about!

After five years some fights last longer than others but they generally are not more than 30 minutes. Last night we fought when we were playing darts and started fighting. I know I started it and he fueled the fire and we argued, but after only a half hour or so we ended up on the couch together with his arms around me and my head on his chest.

So, this is a tribute to marriage and my husband. I love him so much! Some days I want to be married and some days I don't. But when I feel like I don't want to be married anymore I imagine life without Bobby and it makes me cry and I still don't...but only for a little while and I run out to find him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Ever since I had to write a paper on Sylvia Plath's poem "Lady Lazarus" I have had an interest in her. I had a desire to read "The Bell Jar" by her but have always forgotten once I step into Half Price Books and am completely surrounded by them. What was I looking for again? So many books to meet and so little time! Then I end up with another book, not completely satisfied, because I know I came for something else! That also happened with "The Handmaiden" by Margaret Atwood but I ended up getting it for Christmas a couple of years ago from my husband who did remember (only because he had it written down, mind you. That is not normal.)

Anyway, I am not completely sure why but my sister-in-law, Jenny, and I ended up talking about "The Bell Jar" this weekend. I mentioned that I wanted to read "The Bell Jar" and she said she did too. That, in fact, she had just finished reading "The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath" because she had heard "The Bell Jar" was largely autobiographical and she wanted to understand it better when she did read it. Well, I ended up borrowing "The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath" and will read "The Bell Jar" soon. I have also decided that I will buy it. I mean as opposed to checking it out of the library.

The library in Hitchcock, TX not only has hours that make me wonder "who beside that same kid on the computer makes it to the library before they close?" I, myself, have never been there earlier than 30 minutes before it was scheduled to close. Except the time I had to post fliers for camp. I was tempted to stay but I had to work. Beside the hours, the selection reminds me that I never should have been tempted in the first place. I believe their library is made up of all the thrift store books in the neighbouring areas. You know what I mean. Like ten copies of a science book from the sixties. Bobby and I had an excellent thrift store we used to go to in Spring Branch called MAM and it had an awesome book selection, but I have never been in another like it. Most thrift stores have the books that Half Price wouldn't give you any money for. Half Price employees probably take them in the back and chunk them for you, muttering: "You should be paying me to chunk these for you." Thrift stores only take them to fill up space. Anyway. The La Marque library is better. Not great, but significantly better. To sum it up, soon will come a Half Price Book/Jamba Juice smoothie night!

I also thought I would include in this post a poem I wrote a little over a year ago simply because I feel like making this post longer. It has been too long since I added to this blog!


Her petticoat covers

The red-blooded maiden legs


Ladylike, she crosses them

So they are incarcerated,

And strapping legs

Grow weak and womanly.

One hand hides the other

While they sit

Powerful and still in her lap

Gentle and refined,

Her polished poise

Is two-fisted now.

Sloping shoulders

Cloak well-built bones

Gallant, they hold up her girlish

And whimsical burdens.

All the while

Sensitive, soft, and shy

Her smile is all three

She has learned

To flex those muscles well.

They are her honor

A vigorous attempt at being deferential

This smile can be reproduced

Over and over.

Once a month she submits

To its pains

And bears a child-

Like resemblance

To women stouthearted,

Gone before her.

-Emily Chumchal Andrews

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I have never wondered what it felt like to be a deer. Specifically a deer who was hunted. This Saturday I did not wonder either I just instinctively felt that I knew.
All week we have been preparing for camp to start, we have trained counselors hoping to equip them with all they will need this summer. Before this week, we worked most days and didn't have days off and we would stay inside our house or go off of camp. This was to ensure that we rested at least a little. Sometimes people would call us and sometimes we wouldn't answer. If sometimes we didn't answer then sometimes people came knocking on our door on our day off. This Saturday I wanted to make sure I had a "real" day off.
I decided to knead the stress out of myself by getting a massage. My appointment was in the morning. Well, I left with plenty of time to get there but did not realize that my truck was 30 acres away. That is, on the other side of camp from my house. I knew that people were on the other side of camp. People that might want to talk to me. However, there was nothing else to do but walk over there.
I walked leisurely at first looking around as I crossed most of the acreage, but knew that as soon as I crossed the bridge I was more likely to be seen. There is a usual path that I take when I walk to the other side, but if I were to cross where I usually do it would not be closest to my truck. Therefore, I purposefully took the smaller bridge that would lead me closer to my truck before I crossed over and would also provide an additional building to cover me for awhile. After I passed the building that covered me I looked this way and the other way and ran for my life while I was in open territory. That is, the territory where I could be seen.
I made it to my car safely and realized that what I did was very well thought out and weird if not for the circumstances. It makes me smile. It makes me realize even more the importance of what I do and also the need to do whatever it takes to rest when I get the chance.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My brother Noah recorded this video using all of the family members still in the household (I was kind of jealous not being in it). Anyway, you get a chance to see the goofiness I was born in to and the family I absolutely love and am super proud of. I love my family and I will share them with you for 3 minutes and 52 seconds. (By the way, this video is even funnier if you like Moby). Enjoy!

Camille is my youngest sibling- she babysits, is way involved in her youth group, and is excited about working at Camp Good News this summer as a volunteer.

Noah is my youngest brother (older than Camille)- he likes to make videos, draw, create masks out of all sorts of materials, and is going to be a counselor at Camp Peniel this summer. His newest thing is mountain biking, but he has also played Ultimate Frisbee.

Joseph is the one right after me (yes, I am the oldest-can't you tell by my personality alone?)- he makes handcrafted jewelry and works with the Junior High at his church. He is a super fast runner and awesome climber of trees. He used to hang upside down hands free on our rope swing in the backyard and climb the tallest pines.

Mom- is a mentor for MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) and works with the Women's Ministry at her church. She is an avid reader, National Spelling Bee champ, and super smart.

Dad- plays the drums at church (used to play in a band called "Loveshine" in the 70's), is on the church building comittee, and does Land Surverying for a living. He is 54 and has snowboarded and will go down the black diamond slopes everytime he gets a chance to ski.

Friday, May 2, 2008


The last few weeks I have finally carved out about one hour, four days a week where I go and exercise. I have found that you can always say that you do not have time for something or other, but if it is important then you need to cut out something else.
As a Camp Director my job is endless. Bobby and I have both been working seven days a week and not spending any in rest or with each other (even though we are in the office together). We have finally decided to take Mondays off. I have been feeling unhealthy lately because I have "had no time" to exercise. I finally carved out one hour, four days a week to exercise. I go into the office a little later (and sometimes stay a little later) but I feel good. I hadn't called my family in a couple of weeks but I made sure I did yesterday and invited them to dinner on Sunday. It is a process. I have to make time appear by cutting out other things. Our camp ministry is very important, but it doesn't mean anything if I haven't spent time with people I love or if I feel crappy myself. That's all I have to say today. no creative words, but at least I wrote. And at least it will impress even more upon me to make time for other things in my life.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Often when a poem is written the reader assumes that it is an event in the author's life or one they know of. In reality, that is not generally true. The author has researched (perhaps) but has mostly used their imagination. The poem I wrote below tells a story, but it isn't mine and in my conscious mind I cannot say why I would have even written it. I like the rhythm, I don't know. Read it and think what you think. I think that I like the fact that no one would think of me writing this poem.

I moved
My baluster stem
In a mesmeric
Like a Trapdoor Spider
Near my burrow
I stayed-
and drew the moth in.
I would play him
Like an xylophone
Thump, thump heartbeat
At my leisure
I looked
He was

Authentic trash
Like the rest
Like my first
Like my last
No trouble.

He stayed
Knowing no better
My body in his eyes
I danced
Like a mantis
About to prey.
Let him
Look his fill.
I rub my mocking legs
Time to kill.
His thump
Is still.
He looked.
Poor boy-
He's hooked.

-Emily Chumchal Andrews

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life Dance

Ms. Shirley
Taught me the
And our jollification
Was a heel-tap

To the left
The right
Swift step-
I move my hips
Life's sweet.
Quit mugging light
And go ahead
Mug heavy
I stay in the groove-
I'm steady.
Move, baby girl,
Swing out and send
Keep light on your plates
And tap the ten.

Ms. Shirley jived and wrangled
And though I was
Tangled and heinous
In my attempts
We collapsed
In laughter and exclamation

And wow...
I'm a dancer now.

-Emily Chumchal Andrews

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Our Trip to Santa Fe

I was originally very excited about going to a coffee shop in Santa Fe called "Holy Spirit Espresso." It was so small there was no where to sit and it was labeled as "the best coffee shop in town." When we went there were at least seven people in front of me waiting as you can see in the picture below.
I ordered a Machiato and paid three dollars for the cup I am holding in the picture below (hence my face that asks: "this is what I paid for?" and pointing at small cup).
My reaction to the best coffee in town:
So, we went to good 'ol Starbucks and played checkers with pieces of paper we tore into squares.


There is no real reason that I am posting this picture in this particular blog except that I felt like it. I took this picture in Santa Fe, New Mexico when my husband and I went a couple of weeks ago.
I was asked by a Santa Fe resident what the highlights of my stay were and I told them skiing (of course, for anyone who knows me well) and taking pictures, especially the pictures of the adobe houses (they "enchanted" me).
I have no direction for this blog. I was working on an application that is about 2 inches thick for a government program that helps supplement our food at camp. It has overwhelmed me but must be completed by the end of this week. The program will help pay for about half of what we spend on food for the summer. Wonderful and exhausting and stressful. Two negative adjectives as opposed to one positive. I hope the one outweighs the other two. I better get back to work, but I am glad I took a break to show you this picture and to breathe for a moment.

Monday, January 14, 2008


I have not blogged in awhile and as I have not really been informed what you are supposed to write on a blog I usually don't know where to begin. I just want to write. Is a blog supposed to have a theme such as: 'My deep thoughts" or "My Daily Life." Sometimes I don't have many thoughts and days just happen.
This week my husband has been gone on a missions trip and I have spent a few days with his parents, a couple by myself, and a couple with my parents. It has been a fun experience being back in my house and being in Bobby's parent's house. In both, I realize how much mom's should be appreciated. The things that I do for Bobby have been done for me when I am staying at each parent's house. I have been thinking: "Wow, this is pretty nice." They cook dinner for me, wash dishes for me, make my lunch (or at least help me prepare it) and see if I am comfortable. I don't really do much. I try to help but there is not much for me to do.
I really miss Bobby though. I miss doing stuff for him- even though when he comes back I will want his help. More than that..his thoughtfulness. That is one thing I have been trying to make sure of as I stay as a daughter once again. I am doing it all over correctly. I throw even the tiniest bit of trash away, such as the plastic you take of the top of the milk carton to open it for the first time. I try to rinse out my dishes even if I don't wash it. I ask if I can help. Moms are wonderful beings and beings without much appreciation.
This blog is not very polished but I am posting it merely because I need to get back in the groove and to give a little shout out to moms.

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