November 29, 2007


There was a statement made in a geology article years ago that we've used for everything in life, not just science -

"Science has become islands of conformity surrounded by interdisciplinary oceans of ignorance."

November 27, 2007


As I prepared supper, I thought about statistics I've read, and not long ago heard on the radio (and had to call Monte on my cell phone immediately!). I think it's like 6% of American's money goes to food, while Europe and Japan spend 15-20+%. We Americans gladly fork over money for satellite TV, cell phones and other electronics, but we try to buy our food as cheaply as possible.

It's kinda weird, considering the fact that we can live without our TV. But shouldn't we be more willing to spend more on food, since we actually put it into our bodies?

For years I have been interested in nutrition, reading tons, since the 60's and Mr Rodale started us down this path of health and wholeness. So much food was beginning to be processed, boxed and shipped long distances. Shelf life became most important and convenience.

The more I know...understanding where the food around me is coming from and how it's grown and made, makes it almost impossible to eat.

There's a word for this: orthorexia. It means having an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy.

Our grocery expenses are higher than they used to be. Monte was questioning, since I've visually got it laid out on excel spread sheets. But we're wanting to buy wild fish, pesticide free fruits and vegetables, hormone and antibiotic-free meat and dairy. And did you know there's now organic Twinkies!? It turns out that eating with a conscience takes money.

That's what we've told ourselves, as we try and buy as fresh and local as possible.

I know we can buy cheaper, probably half the cost. But here's the thing about orthorexia--unlike most afflictions, the worse it gets, the better you feel.

Some friends roll their eyes, as I pick up everything and read labels. Are we becoming elitists? But you know what? We feel great!

Differing smells

Two fragrances from two activities today seemed contrary. We're in the Colorado mountains and it's almost December and there's still some snow on the ground.

I had some extra poblano chilies. I bought some to sliver and saute with green beans and onions and garlic for Thanksgiving this year. It was very good and we will do it more often. But I crave grilled stuffed poblanos.

It was a beautiful day today--another 'calm before the storm', since it's supposed to snow tomorrow. And since the sun is setting earlier, I grilled our supper after lunch. As they cooked, the wood chips I used to smoke them was mesquite.

So I shed my shirt down to my camisole and soaked up the sun's vitamin D, enjoying the warmth. The sun energizes me. I would get depressed without it for many days! So I can't live places where there's days of gray.

I heard the sound of chopping and then sawing. I walked around to the front porch and Dawson had cut down a tree for Christmas, and brought it in.

So I was smelling both mesquite smoke and fresh cut pine, and I smiled.

November 24, 2007


I should say some things about Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful day. I cooked a 22 lb. turkey full of yummy stuffing in my new range. There were 14 of us. Great food and conversation.

My old Jenn Air of 23 years was down to one burner working consistently. Though we've been looking for a great deal for a couple months, it was finally urgent. I did not want to do another Thanksgiving meal with that stove! Our custom built home always seems to need some adjustments for what should be conventional sizing. We had to do some tile chipping, and a saw hitting metal bits occasionally. But thank God for Shop Vacs!

So I did some preliminary baking the day before to get used to the oven. My Mystery Pecan pies turned out better than ever. And I baked another batch of cinnamon rolls, for the company sleeping over, for Friday's breakfast, and a couple oval loaves with the extra dough. I made that bread totally out of fresh ground Kamut grain. It came out great! And I'm loving the ceramic smooth cooktop.

We needed extra sleeping space. So the vacated laundry room is turning out to be handy. Travis and Sarah slept in there on a blow up mattress. They shared the room with their new LITTLE puppy named Bea. She's a Boston Terrier. Sarah's parents had the guest room. And the Johnson family were the other guests for Thanksgiving.

It was a sunny day, though cold, since it had snowed the day before. So the atmosphere with the wood cookstove going, and window views of snow and pine trees and very blue sky, makes for a great day inside with friends and family.

I'm Sad

Monte says I should go ahead and post that I'm sad.

I'm not sure what to write and maybe writing this will help. I love to write, and when in the process, it's like I start writing things I never thought to write...I don't know if it's conscious or my subconscious, but differing thought processes just take off. And sometimes things crystallize. It's why I regularly journal. Though some may think it sounds wacko, but I often feel God's hands taking over my hands.

Today was my first day to breath, with no commitments - like needing to get coffee going for someone (no one else in this house knows how to make coffee)(and these days I'm drinking more loose black tea brewed in a tea pot). I don't need to make lunches for kids going skiing, which Dawson did with friends today, because they're doing things for themselves.

I woke with sadness. I've had some strange dreams for several nights
(I don't remember them) that have left me in a void. We went to church tonight instead of tomorrow morning. It was the first service following a major decision made this week by the session and elders.

Our senior pastor Peter, of 15 years, has been let go. I don't know the actual church body numbers of people starting to complain of his sermon directions, but most of us I know really appreciate how he challenges us. But the Evangelical Presbytery (EPC) has been 'holding trial' with him for several months now, though the process probably began more than a year ago. And there's probably some other things most of us don't really know.

I'm just at a place of trust in the leadership, who do know more. Church tonight was a reminder of the body of Christ that's alive, and the value of community. This place for now is where we feel God wants us and is home.

Though there's pain and a feeling like a death, maybe it's more of the pain often involved in new birth. We want to see what God might want to do. We don't want to miss God in all this. We could be standing on holy ground. And like Peter starting to get out of the boat, I don't want to take my eyes off of Jesus!

Monte's Pollyanna perspective is that we ought to feel blessed having had so many years of great messages, drawing us closer to God. And too, Peter's message is so where the culture is, that God may be wanting him ministering elsewhere. With this being the week of Thanksgiving, I was so full of gratitude for God's leading of us, in seeing the world from His eyes and His heart. And that it's overflowed in desiring to be His mouth, feet and hands.

November 20, 2007


I had a hard time titling this blog, and I may change it as I write more. I'm really wanting to tell of another quote, but it has to have a background or context...I'll say the quote first:

"When you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas."

I've been considering writing books and looking into digital and eBooks. In that research you come across ebook readers. Amazon just came out with one called Kindle. But I'm reading more of the drawbacks as time goes there's wireless internet capabilities that can bring junk to you.

So, get the quote?

Actually eBooks aren't selling that well. Small chapter downloads are and if you're connected into a company with 'associates'. I'm still researching (actually later when I have more time...).

And too...I'm still one for the nostalgia of curling up with a book, not a computer or printer pages!

November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving Tree

I put up my Thanksgiving Tree drawing today.

I often get frustrated at the Thanksgiving table when I ask what people are thankful for. Usually someone says something silly and then everyone else does. So now on a large piece of paper I draw a tree, with lots of branches and no leaves, to hang on the wall. I cut a variety of leaves from colored construction paper and leave them sit on a counter with a pen and glue stick. If this is done a week or so before Thanksgiving everyone who comes to our house can write something they're thankful for on a leaf and glue it on the tree. Then by Thanksgiving, we've had time to think beyond tangibles like food, family, God, friends, pets etc to intangibles like Truth, Love, integrity and then beyond to firemen, police, doctors ...

Two gals had heard me talk about it several years ago at MOPS and brought examples of their trees. One gal drew the tree skeleton and they ripped brown paper bag pieces and glued them on, filling in the tree. Pieces were loose and it looked like bark. Another gal had gathered lots of colored aspen leaves and color copied them to cut out for the leaves.

This year I wrote 'gratitude' instead of 'thanks'. It's just something I've been pondering...It's an 'at the heart level' thing I think people today lack. Gratitude could change the world!

Calvin & Hobbes

This is the day of the first debut in 1985 of Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip by Bill Watterson. We have all the books. (Except that I see a Teaching With Calvin and Hobbes, that I'd like to see if it still exists. I had a friend do a whole "Beginning Homeschooling" workshop from the cartoons. You could develop any kind of a talk from the cartoons!) We really like them.

Calvin comes from John Calvin. Most of us have heard of him and Calvinism. Him a 16th century French Reformation Theologian. Calvin in the cartoon is an extremely creative, full of energy, imaginative, intelligent, and curious 6 year-old boy.

Hobbes is portrayed as his cynical, 'adultish', large stuffed tiger. Thomas Hobbes is not so known. He created English-language philosophy - nothing had been written in English before him. His most noted book Leviathan, is the western world's political philosophy foundation. Thomas Hobbes was a 17th century philosopher, so they lived at differing times. But the cartoonist liked to use their opposite viewpoints to create the dialogue in the cartoons.

Travis took one set of books we had when he left home. I haven't looked to see if Dawson has the complete set. A hardbound set in three volumes came out in 2005 that I ought to get for ME! Dawson's books are all dog-eared! Dawson wanted a large Hobbes stuffed tiger. I couldn't find one, so we made one.

November 17, 2007

Meteor Showers

I looked at my calendar. Tomorrow morning says Wild Woman Morning in 2001. I might say more about that tomorrow...

But...I remembered it's the time of year for the Leonid Meteor Showers, and just read about them in the news. Watching the showers in 2001 is connected to a special morning memory.

This year isn't supposed to be so great, but with the moon gone from the sky not long after dark, you should be able to see some. 3am is their peak. They're predicting about 15+ per hour. Some years there's been recorded 1500 per hour. Our sky might be cloudy tonight.

Piano Recital

Dawson had a piano recital last evening. He did great. His piece sounded so good on a Baldwin Grand Piano and in a space designed for concerts. He claims he messed up and had to improvise for 4 measures, but we couldn't tell.

That's the challenge his teacher likes. She was highly recommended and has older students. Dawson came to her in his mid teens and couldn't be started in a typical kid book with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! He had already been playing from ear in worship bands for years, and could read music, but not a lot of training there. And he'd done violin for years since really little.

She keeps picking his brain (even on general subjects of life - she likes him. I told Dawson she ought to schedule an extra 1/2 hour just for talk time.) But she really wants to learn to improvise. Another piano friend of ours has said years of piano lessons does not teach people how to improvise and he's often called upon to teach that. Well Dawson's piano teacher is forcing herself to practice it.

I'm sure she could tell where he improvised, not skipping a beat, or making the typical faces people do and you know they messed up. She said it's the best she's heard him play. Another lady said he's like John Tesh. Dawson was embarrassed about that, but I'm sure it had to make him feel good. He knows who he is since I have some of his CDs.

November 15, 2007

Rhubarb Crunch

I'm taking a break before making us bean tostadas for supper, and then before cutting up veggies to go with a dip I made earlier for Monte's Geolly Boys coming for a geology meeting this evening. I just put a second rhubarb crunch in the oven since I broke into the other one and Monte's complaining about it not being enough. And besides, we hope to have some left over for us!

I made a California Dip with even amounts of sour cream and mayo. But instead of putting an onion mix in from the store, I sauted up till golden and some browning, chopped onions. They need to cool before being added. I parboil carrots, beans, and broccoli and chill. But our favorite is preboiled and cooled fingerling potatoes. Them and snow peas are the best in the dip.

I had to have this rhubarb recipe I tasted when we were at a party, and have made it several times this summer. But I've not made it with frozen rhubarb. Heather and me had harvested and froze bags of it in the quantity for this dish. Thus the piece eaten out of it. I had to see if the frozen rhubarb made it mushy, but no, as good as ever! I didn't let it thaw, but broke the pieces up in the bag, before adding.

Lightly grease a 9x9 and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
First mix together 1/2 cup butter and
1 cup brown sugar, till crumbly. Then add in
1/2 cup flour, and then
1 cup oats. I do it in my food processor.
Spread 1/2 in the dish, then layer the rhubarb, and then the other 1/2 of the mixture.
Put 1/2 cup cut up pecans (I add a bit more) on top. I press in a bit.
Bake for 45 minutes.

November 14, 2007


We've been married 32 years and are more in love now than ever!


Just had to write, since what we did is so apropos to us...Meaning we so often go with the flow or are spur-of-the-moment...Which is what happened tonight.

We don't always do a big deal on THEE day, but spread out the celebrating. And with a group of men coming tomorrow night, the Geolly Boys, for Monte to share his geology and maps, and all in his setting...We've decided to celebrate moreso later.

I did make Monte and me a nice supper. Just when we were done, the phone rang...Friends we don't often see have the same anniversary date as us, and called to wish us happy anniversary. They were celebrating at The Bistro across the roadway from our road turnoff. So Monte said we'd come for dessert.

We changed clothes...I was sitting checking emails and Monte looked at my shoes and asked if I could walk in them..."They are comfortable"...OH...We didn't have a vehicle!! (Dawson and Monte are going to look at used vehicles Saturday.) We were going to have to walk (a little over a mile)!

It was cold. It was dark. Dogs barked, and we hoped they were contained. But it was an adventure. I have favorite foods I use in certain nationality restaurants to measure them by. In this case I had Tirimisu. It was excellent.

Great conversation, atmosphere, friends and food...AND totally spontaneous.


Today is mine and Monte's wedding anniversary. Wohoo!!!!

November 13, 2007

Fulfilling Day

Finally off my feet. Been a full day of baking. Have 8 loaves of baguette bread in the freezer, 12 loaves regular bread, 4 dozen dinner rolls, and 2 dozen cinnamon rolls. Made 3 chicken pot pies, one for supper and two to freeze. It's a fulfilling feeling.

Monte and Dawson crawled into a 2 foot crawlspace under the laundry room and jacked up the floor (I'd be claustrophobic!). For a long time we had no garage, so that side of the house was never finished with siding, and being the north side, snow didn't melt, and some rotting happened.

I saw a hole in the ground in my perennial bed when I went out to fill my bird feeders. So Monte dug and followed the pocket gopher run though the bed and out into the meadow. He found 3 salamanders. I followed smoothing everything over and fixing the disrupted plants. Now we watch...

Thanksgiving is next week. My stove is failing, with 2 burners dead, and one working consistently and one iffy. We've ordered another. It'll be a glass top with a 'bridge' burner and convection oven. I'm just a bit nervous about timing, and too, a totally new kind of oven. And I've got 16 people for Thanksgiving!

So that's all for this just a 'dear diary' post...I woke up...I did laundry...

November 12, 2007

Felt sculpture of me

I read another quote I like -

"I am not young enough to know everything."
--Oscar Wilde

It makes me think of a sculpture of me I did last January. It's from a picture of me taken in high school. The sculpture is almost entirely of wool and I did both needle felting and the wet felt process.

My write up for it, when it was in a gallery was: "As I get older I seem to be coming full circle back to my youth." And now as it's on display, it's title is, "Karey sees anew".

I like to ponder in my heart Jesus saying, "Come to me as a child".


Just read another good quote -

"The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be...The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists."

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Martinmas was yesterday, the 11th, the Feast of Saint Martin of Tours. He died in 397. He was a cavalry officer in the Roman army of Constantine.

My favorite remembrance for him is that when in France he saw a freezing beggar at the side of the road. He removed his cloak and slashed it in two, giving the beggar half. In a dream he saw Christ wearing his half cloak.

And this story gives depth to Jesus saying, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me."

November 9, 2007

Rock Wall

Now that I have my own digital camera I'll be posting more pictures. This is a new rock wall that Monte made. He's going to do more since he's been excavating our property. He says he missed his calling and should be a rock mason. He loved building this. Or could it be too that as a geologist he just loves rocks!

We've had this fire pit for years and had a series of levels for sitting. But the logs have rotted and we needed to enlarge the parking area in front of the house. Thus the rock wall.

We have friends who spend a lot of time around their fire pit. He loves to play with cooking over it and has collected a lot of stuff at yard sales for doing this. He also said almost all of the family's major decisions have been made around the campfire.

Beautiful Weather!!!!

This fall has been amazing! I can't believe I was out with a short sleeve in November.

So I did some more fall clean up.

Dawson and Gary were re-texturing my laundry room now that Monte's moved his office out. I'm going to paint it purple and yellow. For awhile, it'll hold exercise equipment. Eventually it'll have stairs going up to Monte's new office.

I ate my cottage cheese with tomato, green onion and avacado lunch outside. Had my cup of tea and a book. I love watching the birds at my feeders and drinking water. I was soaking up the sun, getting my dose of vitamin D.

Tomorrow is a wedding shower for Heather, and we'll probably go to church tomorrow night. Sunday I pick Monte up at the airport. He's been leading a field trip all week down the coast from Oregon to southern California.

It's supposed to start snowing Sunday into Monday. So this is typical Colorado beautiful warm days before the storm.


An anonymous person left a comment for an earlier post of mine. I knew the word I used was wrong, but dictionaries don't help when you're in the dark!

A Guy Thing

Heather and me stayed overnight at Travis and Sarah's. They wanted to learn how to needle felt people. Travis finished his, and this is his guy.

I forget his name. Travis did name him.

It's fun teaching people. I finished my last needle felting class for the year last night. I love the variety. Unless they email me pictures I don't see them done, since they do more at home.

A friend gave me her goat fleece. It was very dirty and I barely touched it except to stick it in the washer. Goat hair makes the best hair for felted dolls. I have to pull the locks apart before I can use it since the grass and all is still in it. But at least it's clean grass (and burrs and poop and bugs!). But now I've got red, yellow, black, brown and white hair. (I've bought some green hair and a gal in a class gave me blue hair.)

Anyway, we had a nice visit. Heather knit while we needled away. We went out for sushi for lunch.

November 8, 2007

Love Letters

There are differing ways of reading. Today, we primarily read for information and then amusement. Then there's another way...I like the way Mortimer Adler describes it -

"If we consider men and women apart from their professions or occupations, there is only one situation I can think of in which they almost pull themselves up by their bootstraps, making an effort to read better than they usually do. When they are in love and are reading a love letter, they read for all they are worth. They read every word three ways; they read between the lines and in the margins; they read the whole in terms of the parts, and each part in terms of the whole; they grow sensitive to context and ambiguity, to insinuation and implication; they perceive the color of words, the odor of phrases, and the weight of sentences. They may even take the punctuation into account. Then, if never before or after, they read."

What if you wrote letters to your loved one and found out they'd not opened them and read them. Or just read them for facts...

Did you ever consider that God has written us 66 love letters?

November 2, 2007


Today is All Souls Day. Since I don't believe in purgatory...Jesus told the thief on the cross next to him, "Today, you'll be with me in paradise."

People use this day to pray for dead people, but it's like buying indulgences in Luther's day. thoughts can be on imagining Heaven...

How do you imagine Heaven?

November 1, 2007

Reformation and All Saints Days

Halloween has its pros and cons. Moreso cons. Our church has people who've come out of Satanic stuff, so it's a tender issue. It is the one time a year one could dress up to be what one might wish to be, but I think we wear enough masks throughout the year.

Jesus said "I am the light of the world" and as Christians we know the end of the story: He's already won the victory over darkness. "Hallow" means "to make holy." Halloween is the eve of All Hallows Day or All Saints Day.

In all we do, God looks at the intentions of our heart.

 With God-in-our-midst we can enjoy fall decor and apples and pumpkins and corn, and love the candy and costumed people. And I'm sadly missing my scarecrow on my porch. I didn't make one this year like I often do out of old clothes stuffed with real straw. Friends knew the key to our house (when we lock it) would be in the shirt pocket.

In actuality, I remember that October 31st is Reformation Day - when Martin Luther nailed the 95 thesis on the castle door. The thesis were asking the church to reform. The castle door was used as a bulletin board and he was asking people to debate. There's more to this story that's not usually told related to the castle door.
 Luther wasn't the 1st asking for reform. It had been asked for ages by various peoples, including many female "saints". The time was ripe for him to hatch the egg that had been laid.

The Muslim Turks were on the rampage. Many people in the Middle East were escaping into Europe - bringing ancient manuscripts. The Religious and Secular Enlightenment was a result of these manuscripts. People for the first time in Europe could see the original Greek and Hebrew writings (and art). There was a surge of language study. Also, the printing press was invented, with the Bible being the first book printed in the mid 1400's.

So people were finally able to read the Bible for themselves. Erasmus actually gave the Pope a Bible he had translated from the original languages and the Vulgate (remember I told you about Jerome?) side-by-side, along with his personal notes about where the church was wrong. (Erasmus and Luther debated a lot. Erasmus never left the Church, whereas Luther did, marrying a nun - Katherin.)

There's tons leading up to Martin Luther along with his own story that's too much to tell here. All I'll say is that with the Muslims pressing into Europe from Spain and the East - kings, Popes, and Lords were so preoccupied with keeping alliances for potential battle at their borders, that Luther was not burned at the stake for being a heretic.
 His Prince Frederick whisked him off after his trial to a hidden place. During that time Luther translated the Bible.
 (Watch the movie "Luther".)

What I like most about the story, is that Prince Frederick had a huge collection of Saint relics. Every November 1st, All Saints Day, he opened his castle doors for all Europe to come and (sight-) see (maybe buy relics/souvenirs! like we do when we travel!). People did come from all Europe and on the castle door was posted Luther's 95 Thesis for all to see.
 Because of people telling all they met as journeying home, and the printing press having printed Luther's Thesis, they say that all of Europe heard of the church reform list in 4 weeks!

Did Protestantism just take off from then? If you read history, no. Law was, that a country went as the rulership went. So like with England, you have about 2 centuries of war between the Church allowing any other form of religious practice. So we swing from a Henry to a Bloody Mary to an Elizabeth, etc. Mainland Europe was just as bad. Many massacres.

As to All Saints Day--from all over, all localities had stories of people who did unique things for God. Saints are people who hear the Gospel message and live it out in their culture, usually addressing a need. Without saints we'd not have many hospitals, schools and meeting-needs-institutions. Saints live very "whole-heart-edly" (would that maybe imply that many people live 1/2 heartedly?!) and often on a tight-rope over a precipice; and are often called heretics in their time. And remember that the Apostle Paul calls all believers saints.

There were so many stories, the church started researching and 'canonized' about 400 to put in the calendar. So all the thousands others were lumped on this day. This day was originally in April or May and the Parthenon was the gathering place. Because of too many people and not enough food, it was moved to Nov 1 because of harvest food availability.

My suggestion for this time is to go ahead and do costumes, but chose a saint or hero of the faith to dress as. Know their story and share it.

I've been a part of a small group that reads scripture in a "midrash" (Hebrew) or Lectio way. I often bring a table decor that's visually in sync with the calendar or season. Visual Imagery is just as important and needed as the Rational. So for this day, I like to fill a shallow clay pot with lots of varieties of candles standing in sand. Contemplative, metaphorical me watches as the many varieties of people (candles) burn together and eventually falling on one another, igniting one another, and melting together. Such a great visual of the community in Christ.
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