October 30, 2007


I love quotes! This is a keeper for me...

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing."
from Redd Foxx

I am a health nut.
I can't write about it now, but I will.

October 23, 2007


Which phrase is most true or the better truth?

Jesus Christ became what we are in order to bring us to himself.


Jesus Christ became what we are in order to bring us to be what he is in himself.

Couscous Patties

Monte wanted me to share his creation. We had some couscous leftover from supper, so the following morning he simply added some egg till it held together and then dropped spoonfuls onto a heated oiled griddle or skillet, flattening them out. Cook on both sides till golden brown.

We've tried it a few times more. He's added a no-salt seasoning full of herbs. I've added some cinnamon and vanilla, and of course topping them with maple syrup.

Love the simplicity, since couscous with added hot water is done in a minute. And love the bit of crunch!

George MacDonald Quote

I love this quote of George MacDonald's (he is a very quotable personage) and it kinda goes with what I previously blogged.

"Would God give us a drama?...He begins with the building of the stage itself, and that stage is the world...He makes the actors, and they do not act--they are their part. He utters them into the visible to work out their life--his drama...All the processes of the ages are God's science; all the flow of history is his poetry...Man is but a thought of God."

October 22, 2007

The world's a stage

I saw this quote the other day and have my theories or opinions about it.

"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed."

I'm a big believer in the value of story. As our kids were growing up, I read lots of stories aloud. I looked for biographies and 'stories of...' say mathematics or the english language or science, rather than
simply getting facts from textbooks.

In fact, I believe in 'living books' and consider text books as dead. Someone else read all the bios and fun books and extracted out the dry facts for textbooks. And then they expected us to memorize all those facts for tests! I need a 'put place' to file facts in my memory, and facts are much easier to remember when clothed in story.

Looking back my kids didn't go through the typical rebellion most kids do. I think they did so much rehearsal for life by living in so many varieties of stories from all over the world and so many eras and cultures. They 'walked in' many shoes and felt the emotions of story characters dealing with varying life choices. (And too, we're very hospitable and did invite quite a variety of people over, sharing their stories, and some of the best learning can happen around the dining/kitchen table!)

So by the time they did leave the nest, I think the world's props and settings and characters weren't all that unfamiliar. They had in a sense 'rehearsed' for life.

October 19, 2007

Centurian (Centenarian)

I'm laughing! I just read a quote from George Burns -

"If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age."

I watched a program on TV about the growing population of centurians. (I don't know how to spell the word. Is it new and my computer dictionary isn't recognizing the word? I'm going off the root 'century'.) We were in a hotel and Dawson was switching the channel, but I told him I wanted to see what their quality of life was.

It was people who still had something they wanted to do, to wake up for. Like a scientist was still walking to the college campus he had worked at--them letting him still do lab work. An artist, saying she still had pictures in her imagination she wanted to paint. A cook still having recipes wanting to try.

It speaks loudly of what motivates us and fuels us throughout life. What is 'retirement'? Is that a time to sit in the rocker and check out on life? Do we desire to keep learning? try new things? maybe go new places?

October 18, 2007


Heard it said, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just poor choice of clothing!"

I've tried to keep that in mind this year. We were supposed to possibly get snow today. But it's sunny and very windy and it's not warm! I'm not wanting to put on more stuff to do things outside today.

Luke the Evangelist

Today, the 18th, is the apostle Luke's remembrance day. Most of us know him to be the author of the Gospel Luke and Acts. But do we ever really sit and think about who he was. Today's the day!

He was a well-educated gentile Christian physician who became a companion of Paul. What inspired him to give up his career and become a follower of a zealous Jew right into jail? Luke was an outsider in an all-Jewish cast and he wrote for an audience of outsiders--gentiles. He shows Jesus as inclusive of those the religious establishment treated as outsiders. Luke is the compassionate Gospel full of human interest and sympathy. He shows Jesus as gentle, a king and merciful. Luke is often called the "Christmas Evangelist" as the season of Advent's story is told more in his Gospel.

It's believed he was also a painter and painted mother Mary. I imagine her sitting for a portrait and talking all about her and Joseph's engagement, but then a wrench is thrown in, that society couldn't understand - how do you explain a virgin birth? In her society she should have been stoned to death. He heard about the angel's visit (If I remember correctly it's only Mary that an angel didn't have to say "fear not", and was seemingly receptive to the mystery of an angel talking to her.) Luke probably felt her 'ponderings' of her reminiscing, like visiting her cousin Elizabeth, and then having an old woman and man in the temple euphoric over baby Jesus, recognizing the Messiah, "the light to the gentiles".

Then Luke alone of the four Gospel writers continues the story, as the apostles and disciples live it into the next generation. Jesus' story didn't end with Jesus, but lives on in the lives of us believers. The power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. Luke devoted his life to demonstrating that Jesus is always available to those who turn to Him. A prayerful man himself he depicts day-to-day praying, even Jesus, who prayed before every important step of his ministry. Luke showed the joy of salvation and how the Holy Spirit guided the emerging church through prayerful lives surrendered to Jesus.

(Much artwork depicting Luke have a winged ox--it's his 'emblem'. Only one writing mentions it, to say an ox or calf are symbols of sacrifice--the sacrifice Jesus made for all. But why connected with Luke I don't know.)

Saints are human people who lived EXTRAordinary lives. Each saint the church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint.

So need I go on with what this means to us?! The Gospel writers give us eyewitness accounts of God incarnate. Jesus is the pure reflection of the invisible God and He showed us what human life in its spiritual fullness looks like. We are called to reflect God's image--'image bearers' (though tarnished), created in the image of God. If turned in on ourselves, in a state of self-absorption, we cannot reflect the light of God's image.

I simply ask the Holy Spirit to guide me, as He did the first disciples. To give me an open heart to do whatever He calls me to do. And continue helping me to pray.

I didn't post about Matthew, the other Gospel writer, who's calendar feast day was September 21. He was a Jew, but one of those lowly "sinners" since he was a "tax-farmer". Sitting in his booth he had to be listening to Jesus. He probably saw the men carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher to Jesus.

The spying pharisees saw Jesus walk by and tell Levi/Matthew to "Follow me". Despicable!! Yet Jesus turned to them and said "Those who are well have no need of a doctor! So go figure out what this scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.' I came to call the outsiders, not indulge the pious."

Everyone who touched Jesus and everyone whom Jesus touched were healed. God's love and power went out from him. When a friend touches us with free, non-possessive love, it is God's incarnated love that touches us and God's power that heals us.
-Henri Nouwen
Bread for the Journey

October 17, 2007

Picasso quote

I was just reading in the news an obscure article about art work being vandalized. And that art museums imply a trust - letting us stand beside objects representing civilizations and their culture. There's a freedom the public display represents. Criminals must be offended by arts power to embody values they fear.

I've liked a quote that says something like 'don't judge art. Let it judge you.'

And I like this story-
In 1966 in France there was an exhibit of hundreds of Picasso's works from the first as an adolescent beginner to the latest. Picasso was then 85 and present, wandering the exhibit. A woman said to him, "I don't understand. Over there, the beginning pictures--so mature, serious and solemn--then the later ones, so different, so irrepressible. It almost seems as though the dates should be reversed. How do you explain it?"

"Easily," replied Picasso, eyes sparkling, "It takes a long time to become young."

October 14, 2007


It's been a beautiful fall, with weather just steadily cooling off. No huge snow blast in mid September like it so often does. In fact, my last deck umbrella I had busted on a September 5th because of the weight of snow! So I know it's just a matter of time...but I never really want winter to come!

Since I woke this morning it started snowing and now it looks like we've got 3 inches. I have to pick up Monte at the airport later this morning. It'll probably be just raining in Denver as I go down in elevation.

I've had on my 'to get' list a new window scraper, but haven't got one yet. I'll see if the broom will do the job, otherwise Heather has a nice one I'll borrow. Now we have to think coats, hats, scarves and mittens and maybe boots. And driving slower. So planning ahead for extra time...

I had posted earlier about elk. The other night was rather noisy with four bulls bashing antlers below our bedroom window. Monte calls them satellite bulls when there's no females around. It was a little hard to go to sleep :) I had heard, maybe from a wildlife person, so it must be true, that the bark of aspen trees is like aspirin. That would make sense since all our aspen get chewed on by the critters. These elk would need it! I would think they'd have headaches.

And too, like I posted a long time ago, I'm really liking our electric fence. Normally by now, most of my beautiful flowering plants have been eaten by the elk. They'll eat the lilac, so it won't bloom next year. They'll even eat stickery rose bushes. And the bear didn't get the crab apples this year. We made a yummy crab apple pie last weekend when Travis and Sarah were here.

Now to check out the airport website and see if things are on schedule.

October 12, 2007


Something I read made me think back and laugh about the jobs I've done. One of them is especially fun to tell as an 'ice breaker'! But here's my list from the beginning:

Babysitting (which I wasn't good at so not asked a lot unless they were desperate)

Typical housework chores (I only mention it because I tried to trade with my brother so I could do the yard work chores, which I loved, but maybe I wouldn't if it were a 'chore')

Baskin Robbins - if you get a chocolate fudge brownie scoop and have no brownies.....Or pecans gone from Pralines and cream......:P

Car Wash - sometimes to save time the owner tried us doing inside the car cleaning while the vehicle was going through the automatic wash, but the car owners didn't like that, so I was one of those out after the wash, cleaning the inside windows and vacuuming

Christmas help in department stores - my favorite place was the toys

Undergarment factory - I sewed the elastic on the left crotch of underwear (didn't last long when I saw some long time employees permanently hunched over)

Medical Clinic - worked in the patient files room. I'd deliver files needed at various offices and refile files that were done with (it was here I learned that some people love to eat burnt toast)

Now which of those do you think is the funniest to tell people?

October 11, 2007


The Great Dance--perichoresis! Perichoresis derived from two Greek words was coined to describe the relationship of the persons of the Trinity. Peri meaning "around" and choreia meaning "dance"--a God dance. The Father, Son and Spirit created the human race so that what they have together could be shared with us, so that their great dance of life could be extended to us and played out in our lives.

For several years now I've been so enamored with the Trinity, the tri-unity God. I bought this candelabra for the beautiful representation of the great dance, reminding me that the relational God who's image I'm made in, invites me to join in!

One time I had put new candles in, but one fell and broke. I was thinking I'd melt it together. As I was reading one evening I wanted to light the candles but hadn't yet fixed the one. It was lying there broken. And it HIT ME...Jesus' broken body! I couldn't light just the two candles. I imagined them not desiring to be lit till all three could be dancing together.

Yes I did add the mended broken one and for awhile I could see the break until they melted past it. The temptation now is to always break and melt back together one of the candles as a reminder of God's reaching down to extend the circle and their great dance of life to me. Jesus stepping out of eternity into history. Jesus's brokenness to draw me into the circle of their life.

I'll probably be posting a sculpted rendition of this. Our church is an art gallery of people's giftings displayed. It's changed seasonally. I've been thinking of doing a felted wool sculpting of this for awhile. I hope to capture the action, energy and life...But if I do it more rounded, how do I depict God?!

October 10, 2007


Why did Columbus sail?

October 11 is Columbus Day, though it's celebrated whatever Monday is closest for a three-day weekend. 
What's to celebrate or remember? Anything in his story to help me better live knowing God-is-in-our-midst?

The dominant reason I've found for his sailing, beyond what's in textbooks, is his having read the writings of Marco Polo's travels to China. The emperor of China was begging for missionaries to come to his country. Christoforo Colombo of Genoa, Italy wanted to answer this call.

In all his writings and those of people who knew him, he was a very religious man. He'd read the Vulgate Bible (see my posting on Jerome) and knew it well. He was pretty 'evangelical' for his era. Here's some of his own quotes:
 "I am only a most unworthy sinner, but ever since I have cried out for grace and mercy from the Lord, they have covered me completely. I have found the most delightful comfort in making it my sole aim in life to enjoy his marvelous presence."

"He (our Lord) has bestowed the marine arts upon me in abundance." He had already sailed the Mediterranean, the coast of Africa and up to Ireland and probably Iceland. He knew how to read currents, winds and the sea surface.

Why did he remain at the Spanish court for seven years lobbying for this trip? "If it strikes often enough, a drop of water can wear a hole in a stone." 

Was he pursuing self-aggrandizement and discovery of a trade route to the Orient to win glory, riches and a title of nobilty? "Who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also the Holy Spirit who encouraged me with a radiance of marvelous illumination from his sacred Scriptures, ... urging me to press forward."

"With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible...The Lord purposed that there should be something miraculous in this matter of the voyage to the Indies."

So the "rest of the story" is he sailed to fulfill a religious quest. He desired to evangelize people. "I recognized that they were a people who would be better freed (from error) and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force."

On October 11 in 1492 (did you say the little ditty adding "Columbus sailed the ocean blue" to complete the rhyme?) they saw the 1st signs of shore: seabirds, bits of green plants, sticks and a small plank.

 "Tierra! Tierra!" was cried out from the forecastle.

What really sticks out for me of his story is his foundation in knowing the stories of God's marvelous works. This foundation of knowing the Larger Story helped him in calamitous, fearful times to trust and rest in God. Once when the winds stopped and all was still, the men feared they'd never see home again. But eventually the sea rose without aid of wind, astonishing them. Columbus compared it to the miracles surrounding Moses.

I'm looking up on the shelf, and the old ship model from some junk store that Dawson repainted, and I used to bring to the kitchen table for this time's visual, is gone. Have you watched a history show on it or looked at pictures in books? The surprising thing--as with the later Mayflower and even Viking ships, that traveled on the huge ocean--is how small they were to today's ocean liners.

October 6, 2007

Francis of Assisi?

Francis of Assisi Feast Day was October 4. I thought of his day on the third when I went to a nursery to get some hanging pots. There's always garden statues of Francis with birds. And I am tempted to get one.

Though I think of his story every year on his day, I didn't know what I'd post. I read a novel on him last year that I liked. Therese of Lisieux Day was October 1, and I read her little book. I don't care for her story, she just seems too silly to me, and nothing there for me to hold onto that would help me live better. Many saint stories bug me in their 'literal living'.

I could say that about Francis too, but he does have more depth, and he is the founder (though he wasn't wanting to found anything) of the Franciscan Order of monks. He lived scripture so literally that I get frustrated with him, yet he lived so closely like Jesus, I can't really say anything against him.

I spent some time skimming web sites for a specific story I had read about him and Claire somewhere long ago, but didn't find it, even to page 6 on Google. Claire was of Assisi too and inspired by his change in life to follow Christ, she too followed, and lived out the rest of her life cloistered away. But supposedly the two met for a meal and talked on and on and there was such a glow over the building the townspeople came running, thinking there was a fire. There is a book and movie about them called "Brother Sun, Sister Moon".

If you don't know about Francis of Assisi you should read about him. There's lots of web sites. I found a unique one, http://www.links.net/vita/fwp/stfrank.html, that the guy wrote in a history class using 200 year old books for reference. It really is a good place to read a 'realistic' view, I really like it.

Then too, there's a good site describing a famous painting of Francis and the birds by Giotto. I have this painting. I have an easel that I change the pictures on regularly. I like to become 'friends' with works of art. This site finally explained why so much spiritual art has people with a hand with the last two fingers curled under. Check it out - http://landru.i-link-2.net/shnyves/St._Francis.html.

One piece of his story is his love for all creatures, so he's the patron saint of animals, and ecologists like to claim him. He did preach to the birds the Matthew 6 text about God caring for flowers and birds. So do not be anxious, because God will take care of us to!

In living so closely like Jesus...shouldn't we desire this too? What would it look like in our culture?

October 4, 2007

Elk Bugle!

Just heard a loud elk bugle! So I had to look. We keep binoculars and a huge spot light in our bedroom. I just see two bull elk with no harem. One is a 4x4 and the other a 5x5. They only bugle in the fall, and the large bull elk are only with the females in the fall when they are horny.

I should know all this. We've had 'sex education' going on in our meadow before our windows for the 23 years we've lived here!

I had to go look again. I'm hearing knocking, like antlers banging against each other. The 4x4 just ran out in front of my garden alone, and I'm still hearing banging going on and a bugle in the woods, but I can't see anything.

It's unusual to not have a bunch of females surrounding the large bulls. The females are the wary ones protecting the bulls during this season when they are so distracted by hormones! So maybe there's females in the woods with other bulls.

Dawson ran in for his camera Monday to go back to downtown Evergreen where a large bull with his harem has been hanging out. I see he's posted some of the many he took on his photo blog site - http://www.photoblog.com/dawsonswan/2007/10/02/

He was gone awhile, following them across the main street onto the golf coarse. Last year it must have been the same bull, but we were kicking ourselves for not having a camera with us. This bull was walking his herd along the 'walking trail' along Evergreen Lake right next to the road--out for a stroll!

And I'm supposed to be getting ready for my last felting class of this session this evening. I need to leave soon. And I went to the dentist this morning and the numbing is not going away yet! And too, the weather's been so nice and we're supposed to get snow this weekend. So I'm wrapping things up outside. Got all my flowers and herbs set up nice in the greenhouse for the winter. (And I got a new Nordic Track I'm setting up in the greenhouse for now too!)

October 2, 2007

Guardian Angels Day

Do you believe in angels? Do you live as if they exist? What might that mean?

I was at my friend Kathy's cabin last weekend along the Colorado River (and the drive was beautiful, especially around Vail--so many golden to rust shades of trees). On her wall was a plaque given her by her sister, since Kathy's driving scares her to death. It says - "Don't drive faster than your guardian angel can fly!" Some of us by our lifestyle choices might be overworking our guardian angels.

Because of typical popular art depicting chubby cherubim...and then comments like "the face of an angel"...but what do angels really look like? I'm betting there's something awfully unusual about them since every time they show up in Scripture they're saying, "Fear not".

In our cynical, self-sufficiency of adulthood, do we forget about angels? This might be a good time to remember and thank God for his loving protection in having angels guard over us. Pray yourself through Psalm 91.

We're told to be hospitable to strangers as they may be angels!

I read that generations of Catholic youth were reminded, when dancing, to "leave room for your Guardian angel."

October 1, 2007

smoked salmon

I just finished grilling and smoking, with mesquite wood chips, a large salmon fillet. Monte is out of town again and I usually grill either salmon or chicken breasts to have leftover cold on salads. I could eat this way all the time - simple, and GOOD!

After preheating the grill and getting the soaked wood chips going, I like to grill the flesh side of fish quickly on the hot grill. Then I turn it over with the skin side down, sprinkle with pepper and spread with mayonnaise. Then turn the heat down and let slow cook with the smoke flavoring it.

If the fish isn't very fresh, I always do a presoak in the sink with some salt and milk and sometimes some sugar. It seems to help draw out anything 'fishy'. Then rinse (pull out any bones with needle-nose pliers if any) and dry.

When grilling chicken breasts, I cut them in fairly thin pieces and marinate them in an Italian salad dressing for a bit before grilling. And brush them with the marinade while grilling, so they don't dry out.

down syndrome

My sister-in-law Chris, at 47 got pregnant with a down syndrome baby girl they've named Leah. I just finished reading her latest post and watched a clip that was so good and I got a lump in my throat! http://www.stservicemovie.com/

They have a family web blog to post news and family pictures and notice of Leah's life steps. Her four brothers are all much older and very active in sports. Luke the oldest is the one in the news since he's #1 for the Badgers.

It's special, today's technology, to be able to see, read, and feel close to those far away. It was fun to go to the site and see Monte's parents at Luke's game (they don't travel now in their old age and Monte was a bit concerned) - everyone was wearing #1 jerseys.

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