April 30, 2008

Pius V, Council of Trent, & Elizabeth I

Church History and the Calendar again. Pope Pius V is one of the persons on the Church calendar for today. He excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1570.

The Council of Trent straddled 18 years and several Popes. It was finalized in 1563. Pius V had the job of instituting it. It's main purpose was what to do with Protestantism (which was 'no Protestantism). It's beginnings were to deal with what Martin Luther (and many others) wanted the Church to reform. It became a Counter-Reformation.

Queen Elizabeth I was determined to complete the separation of the Church of Rome begun by her father Henry VIII (with Bloody Mary between them). I've written before that Protestantism and Catholicism took over a hundred years to be able to co-exist. For a long while, the religion of the monarchy became the religion of the country. And unfortunately Elizabeth forbade Catholics to practice their faith. They were fined or imprisoned and heavily persecuted and many were killed. (Read about Protestantism in Scotland with John Knox, and then France and other countries had horrible massacres too.)(Read my blog on Edmund Campion.)

We don't imagine the possibility of living with only one religious option; can't imagine what's so hard about letting other religious viewpoints exist. We so take advantage of having scriptures in our own language and can read anytime for ourselves!

Augustine Quote

Ask the loveliness of the earth, ask the loveliness of the sea,
ask the loveliness of the wide airy spaces, ask the loveliness of the sky,
ask the order of the stars, ask the sun, making daylight with its beams,
ask the moon tempering the darkness of the night that follows,
ask the living things which move in the waters,
which tarry on the land, which fly in the air;
ask the souls that are hidden, the bodies that are perceptive;
the visible things which must be governed,
the invisible things that govern - ask these things,
and they will all answer you, 'Yes, see we are lovely'.
Their loveliness is their confession.
And all these lovely but mutable things, who has made them,
but Beauty immutable?

- Augustine
Sermons 214.2

As our friends Aram and Ellen said, "This is a Monte-esque quote".

April 29, 2008

Catherine of Siena

Giovani's Catherine of Siena
This is the day I remember aspects of Catherine of Siena's story. With many of my posts being Saint Days, you'd think I'm Catholic. I'm not, and didn't grow up knowing anything of church history, and to tell you the truth, I never read the Bible for myself till I was 19, though I grew up in a 'Christian home'.

At a desert place in my life, I wanted to strengthen my knowledge of the past. I began with Jewish history, realizing their history is retold rhythmically each calendar year. As my reading took me into early Christian history I started reading stories of people who had days on the calendar that the church had set up. I see it as a carrying on of the first and second Testament stories into the Third Testament.

Why not carry on the many verses in Old Testament scriptures telling us to "tell the children". It's a great way of knowing myself, that my identity is in this larger drama than me, myself, and I.

Several years ago, when other people were filling out a questionnaire, that asked who your hero/heroine is, with people like Dr Phil and Oprah ... I filled the blank in with Catherine of Siena.

When you read saint hagiography there's so much we, looking back on, think is ridiculous and weird. It sometimes takes a lot of wading through before you find the real person.

Catherine was the 23rd child born in her family and was very religious from a young age. At 16 she rebelliously cut off her hair and cloistered herself in a room of her home. When 18 her family let her join the Dominican order where she spent another 3 years in seclusion.

It was an era when people desired visions and the stigmata and many women betrothed themselves to Christ. Many too lived with harsh asceticism.

The part of her story that really spoke to me was when after the three years of seclusion Jesus said, "Enough. The only way you can serve me is in the service of your neighbor"! I could easily be a hermit or contemplative and just read and putter around my home.

Catherine, along with Teresa of Avila are the only women Doctors of the Church. She died in 1380 at the age of 33. She lived through Europe's Famine and the Plague of 1374 nursing people. People called her "Mama". She also wrote many letters to kings and popes (unheard of by women of her time). She lived during the Church's Great Schism when there were two popes and then three - divided between France and Italy. She worked tirelessly to help heal the Church.

Her spiritual testament is found in her book The Dialogue. The last two years of her life she spent praying for church unity.

In one of my books I wrote (but don't know where it's from) -
"Athletes of the Spirit usually start out in physical inactivity and mystical exercise."

Dancing Quote

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astair did, 
but backwards and in high heels!
- Faith Whittlesey

April 28, 2008

William Paul Young: A Look Inside 'The Shack'

The author of The Shack on The 700 Club tells some of his story.

But there's even better footage at his website "You are Welcome Here". He didn't intend to write a book, he told his six children stories about the Trinity, trying to help them understand a very approachable God.

Videos 1, 2, and 3 are the better of William P (Paul) Young telling his story.

I have to say, I was very curious about his story. I've wanted to depict the Trinity in my art ... but HOW can you? And he does it wonderfully. I've decided he KNOWS the Trinity!

St George

April 23 is the Feast of Saint George. I missed telling you that, and with company, I didn't put out my felt dragon like I usually do.

Because of the Revelation 12 scripture I've told you that I put a dragon in my Christmas Nativity. I pull this same dragon out for Michaelmas Day and again for the St George story.

George was a Palestinian soldier who suffered martyrdom in 303 in the persecutions of Diocletian. It's believed stories of George were brought home to England by the Crusaders. Though many variations, it's a basic tale of good and evil - of a young knight who rescues a maiden from a flying reptile with bad breath. One tale has him leashing the dragon with the princess's garter, leading it through town and converting pagans to Christianity. Or maybe he just cuts off its head.

Cutting off a dragon's head is what is often celebrated in English homes. A dragon is often made from bread dough and the children cut off its head.

What intrigues me most about St George is there's a shrine for him in the Middle East. Jews think the site is the burial place of Elias. Christians are remembering a soldier championing against the power of evil. Moslems celebrate George as a demigod who endured a series of tortures and call him "Khidir", the Green Man.

It is said that this shrine has almost more activity than Jerusalem's Holy Sepulchre. And too, there's Christians and Moslems praying side-by-side.

April 27, 2008

Picasso's Painting

It was on this day in 1937 Hitler was practicing bombing and wiped out a whole Spain town- the first time in history a town was destroyed from the air.

Pablo Picasso was so torn by the news he painted a picture, calling it 'Guernica', after the town in Spain.

People complain his lack of realism can have no impact. But it is characteristic of Picasso's work that symbols can hold varying meanings from differing eyes, and change according to the state of mind.

April 26, 2008


I'm just checking emails and news. I'm exhausted and I simply vegged out today. 

Monte and the Norwegian geologists left early this morning, beginning their field trip. Once Monte's done Tuesday evening, life will return to normal and we can move on to Spring needs around here.

I'll tell you a secret... I never changed out of my PJ's and bathrobe and slippers today!

April 23, 2008

Supper 2

I'm soooo tired ... I'll say phrases, and a song will pop into my head. With the opening phrase, it's the Beatles line in a song, "I'm so tired ..." but I'm NOT "feeling so upset". (I grew up with the Beatles and loved them.) All I'm doing as chef for these visiting scientists is wonderful.

Second supper, one more to go Friday night. Two lunches done, two more to go. No, I wouldn't want to do it all the time. People so often say, "You should have a restaurant"... But then I wouldn't enjoy cooking! I did the grilled chickens on the beer cans tonight - six of them. The Norwegians took pictures of them on the grill, and the eating was great!

I'm really writing just to post another Picasso quote. He really does say some things I like (I've already quoted him in other posts):

"There is no abstract art.
You must always start with something.
Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."

I can't tell you why I like this. I've read as Americans we are mal-nourished when it comes to art. It was a discussion at the supper table tonight. Dawson is working on a college English project and had a poster picture he's creating from photoshopping a photo he took. The Norwegians said he shouldn't add words. My thinking is that today, with the mal-nourishment, a picture may not necessarily say a 1000 words.

Call it hand-holding or educating or nurturing ... but it's a helping people to 'see'.

April 22, 2008

Norwegian T-Shirt

I was brought gifts: a beautiful book of photography and poetry (by Norwegians printed in English).

The T-shirt, if you can see it, has a variety of moose expressions with the Norwegian word in yellow and English below. Fun!

On to day two.

April 21, 2008

Swan Inn

I've begun wearing my 'chef Karey' hat for this week with the many visiting scientists from Norway coming in today. I've got my weeks' menus planned and steps laid out.

So tonight is Mexican and I've begun the burrito meat in the crock-pot, started the beans, and made a cheesecake. Usually I do a flan, but we decided we wanted a cheesecake this time. I'll be grilling the stuffed poblano chilies this afternoon.

I'll be doing four lunches and three suppers. They'll be taking me out for two very nice suppers. Some of them have been here before and have been building up my reputation to the new ones coming. Pressure! But not really, I've done it so much before that it's not so bad.

I saw a cool "Swan Tavern" wood sign some time ago that I wish I bought - a great picture of a swan. We definitely get the company. But then we do live where people like to vacation, which is why I prefer staying home when the rest of the world is vacationing. And why leave beautiful here, when most other places are so hot, humid and have mosquitos and whatever else negative!

Well, back to my typing of Monte's and Stan's field trip guide.

April 20, 2008

Pied Piper

I finished reading Pied Piper by Nevil Shute (or Nevil Norway). As I've often said, I always have to read 'story' amongst my other readings. I usually read them at night so my mind can switch from the day's activity and thoughts into another gear and can more easily go to sleep. (Monte always teases me about my talk of my mind, as if it's separate from my body, but it is - it rules. I can be physically bone-tired and my mind will still be quite active, not shutting off letting me go to sleep!)

I so enjoyed the the 70-year-old Englishman in this story, trying to get over his son's death, Howard takes a fishing holiday to Switzerland. It's the summer of 1940 and he finds himself the leader of a band of children trying to escape the German invasion of France.

Howard agrees to take two children with him home to England. But war closes in. Trains fail, roads clog with refugees, and other children join in Howard's little band. As he walks you through war-torn Europe you get caught up in his wonderful storytelling and love of humanity and acceptance of children as they came.

Apparently the book was made into a movie in 1942 but not on DVD. And it sounds like he's written lots of other similar style books - stories of regular people thrown into extraordinary circumstances. So I'm going to my library website and see what other books of his I can find!

Dickens Quote

"Have a heart that never hardens, 
a temper that never tries, 
and a touch that never hurts."
- Charles Dickens

April 19, 2008

Jewish Children's Story

Since today is officially Passover I didn't share this story before Easter. I did share it with the MOPS gals to whom I'm a Mentor Mom. I periodically check out children's stories even though I no longer have little kids. I've often seen how much we can learn from children and children's stories.

Too many children's stories are written with agendas, so are sermonettes and 'twaddle'. In collecting old books, we have some that are Children's Sermons. Some people might like them, but I hate them. Most talk AT and DOWN TO kids and don't really engage them and invite them in. Most REAL stories carry truth whether the author strove for that or not. They are actually better when the author just lets the story create itself (as an artist I understand this).

I often tell the story I found of Leah and Harry. They lived in an apartment building and were lucky to have their own bathroom and a bathtub. Most people had to share the bathroom down the hall.

Their mama was known to be a great cook. Twice a year she made gefilte fish - in the fall for Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, and in the Spring for Passover. Right before the Festival, carp fish were hard to find in the stores. So mama liked to buy her carp almost a week before Passover to make sure she got the nicest, fattest, shiniest one. Mama bought her fish live and carried it home in a pail of water.

At home Leah ran the water in the bathtub and Mama would dump the carp into the tub. Leah and Harry had fun going to the bathroom because they'd bring pieces of bread or rusty lettuce for the fish to eat.

One year, the carp seemed much livelier and friendlier with brighter eyes. They even gave this one a name. This was not just any old carp, they just had to save "Joe".

"Mrs Ginzburg has a bathtub," Leah said.

So in a bucket between the two of them, Leah and Harry carried Joe downstairs. Mrs Ginzburg said she couldn't keep the fish from her friend, their mother, but that he better go in the tub, for now, because he didn't look too good, "And you better go tell your Papa."

Papa, coming home from work, was glad to see them, but not glad to hear about the fish. "But we love him and want to keep him for a pet!" Papa took the fish from Mrs Ginzburg's tub and returned it to their tub and they never told Mama. And the kids never again could eat gefilte fish.

A few days later, Papa came home with a beautiful tri-colored cat. They named it Joe.

"Then the Lord said to Moses 'On the 10th day of this month each man is to get a lamb for his family, one lamb to a house ... And you shall keep it until the evening of the 14th day of this month and then slaughter it, and their blood shall be smeared on the two doorposts of every home..."

After living in the kids' shoes (maybe bear feet or sandals) and feeling their emotions the reality of Exodus 12 really hits me. Could the kids in the Hebrew families have become attached to, even giving it a name, the lamb to be killed? And then I think of the Lamb of God - the disciples having lived with Jesus for three years before he was killed.

Passover and Omer

This evening is the beginning of Passover. Because Passover fell on the Sabbath this year, Jews had to make their Sedar meal preparations yesterday since no work is done on the Sabbath.

I've already posted about this year being the calendar catch-up year for the Jewish lunar based calendar. Every nineteen years they add an extra Adar month. Eastern Orthodox churches follow the lunar base for festivals so will be celebrating Easter, Pesach, tomorrow - so two Easters! And like I said before too, Jews celebrated Purim two times this year. The real Purim ended up on our Good Friday.

A friend sent out an email about celebrating Ascension Day on May first and I emailed her what I'm going to write here. But after my long history/theology soliloquy, I ended with telling her if she wants to celebrate Ascension Day twice, she can. And because of what's being written and talked about in Christian circles about Pentecost, I guess I'm kinda celebrating it twice this year too, or stretching Omer longer.

Why do I make a big deal out of this? I like the larger story, the bigger picture that brings more depth to our Christian celebrations and traditions.

Jews had three harvest festivals that they went to Jerusalem for (found in Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16, and more). The first two are known as First Fruit Festivals. Barley is the first cereal grain to be harvested and brought to the temple for blessing.

The Sunday following Passover, begins this First Fruit Festival period of counting seven-sevens between the barley and then the wheat harvest festival, called Shavuot. This period of 49 days is called 'Counting the Omer', an 'in-between-time'.

I took a picture of a past year's Counting Omer chart I made. Every Spring this rectangle of rectangles sits on a kitchen counter. Since I strive for more meaning to my ordinary linear calendar days, I like visuals or anything that reminds my heart and brings anticipation of God's presence. Glueing pieces of grain, or marking off the days, helps bring meaning - a God-consciousness activity - to these days. I try and create space in my days for God to show up - anticipating surprises from God - God 'winks'.

The Jewish Festival of First Fruits became our Easter. Jesus rose from the dead on the Jewish festival day that many Jews had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and then their first harvest fruit of barley. I Corinthians 15:20 says, "But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruit of those who are asleep." How exciting is that?! Do you think that was part of a plan? a cool detail in the large drama of life?!

I will start counting the 49 days tomorrow. If you started with the Easter day we celebrated this year, you'll end up with the 50th day being Mother's Day. To me that's all wrong! The 49-50th day really falls on June 8-9 this year.

See the little red box in my picture? That's the 40th day in the counting - that's Ascension Day. You can talk about this event, but it's more fun to take a picnic lunch and blanket and eat somewhere outside and look up into the sky and talk about the story at the end of Luke and Acts 1 when Jesus left this earth. Imagine being a disciple - you've lived with Jesus for 3 years dreaming of setting up an earthly kingdom and then watch Jesus leave, "Hey, but wait a minute, where are you going? This is not what I had in mind!" The physical presence of Jesus left them. What now?

At this time Jesus told them to return to Jerusalem and wait the ten days until the next Jewish Harvest Festival. I'm sure the disciples were reliving all the memories and words of those three years with Jesus, wondering what the heck he really meant! while waiting for the Shavuot Festival. Remembering and praying and waiting.

Every year at this time the Jews read the 10 Commandments, remembering Moses and the commandments inscribed by God on stone on Mt Sinai in the desert. But the Jews are missing the bigger picture. To Jeremiah (31:33) God said, "I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it" who's message carried further in II Corinthians 3:3 says, "You are a letter of Christ written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts."

Jesus died and then resurrected on Easter becoming the first fruit at the early first fruit festival. In our Christian year, 50 days later, Shavuot became Pentecost, and as Christians we have the Holy Spirit living within us, and are first fruits too. So from the letter of the law, to the Spirit; from stone to human hearts.

I hang seven descending doves over our kitchen table for Pentecost as another visual reminder for my heart. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Does your church celebrate Pentecost? I've never been in a church that celebrated it. We remember God the Father and Son in the Incarnation and Death and Resurrection, but do we celebrate the Holy Spirit and what it all means to our Christianity? A remembrance of letters in stone to the Spirit in our hearts; remembering that the letter of the law brings death, but the Spirit brings life. Remembering the gifts and fruits of the Spirit.

This year our church is finally going to celebrate Pentecost Day. I've been asked to help 'preach' that weekend. I guess my years of talking about the Calendar depth, including Pentecost, is bearing fruit. We're going to tell everyone to come wearing red. We're going to have balloons and birthday cake.

Instead of calling this season Eastertide, I see it as a Season of Redemption. On Passover, the Jews eat history, remembering freedom from slavery. But freedom for what? What is physical freedom without an identity of who you are? Mt Sinai with God and the 10 Commandments gave them a spiritual freedom, a knowing they were part of a larger story. But the 'story of redemption' is even larger for us who believe in the Incarnation, Resurrection, and Pentecost.

There is a great drama that God asks us to be a part of. God still takes on human flesh today, expanding the Incarnation to us followers of Jesus. The God above became the God alongside, and then the God within. Is this not Wild?!!!!!!!!!!!

April 18, 2008


Did you know that the grain it takes to fill the tank of a sports utility vehicle with ethanol could feed one person for a year?!

The government is subsidizing farmers to grow more corn and soybeans. I overheard at a local wild bird store that was closing down that less fields are being planted in the plant varieties needed for food, not just bird seed, but us humans.

100 million tons of food will be diverted this year to feed cars.

Speed Reading

"I took a speed reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia."
- Woody Allen

Too funny. And sad. Why sad? Some things we read are meant to be chewed upon and savored. 

I could write a ton on that thought and probably will over time since I so value 'story'. I always have to have 'story' type reading amongst all my reading. It's in story we know who we are.

And by the way, I've read War and Peace.


I just read a blog I get RSS feeds from that told of being at a prayer breakfast with seventeen differing faiths attending, and told of dialogue between the Dalai Lama and Desmund Tutu.

The blog reminds me of two things:
1) I remember reading that today's info from the internet is like "word of mouth". I had posted earlier about JFK being the first president where we viewed the whole election (and then death) process from TV - the timing being when most homes had television. Prior to that it was radio, newspapers, and "word of mouth" for news and electing a president.

What's happening with the internet during this current presidential candidating is "word of mouth" spreading of info on a massive scale. And journalism is happening in the bloggosphere - like what I just read - it was an eye-witness account at a world-affecting event.

2) Such varieties of people and how they live by faith (Christian or not, everyone really does live by faith). And like the blog says, within faiths, there are good people and bad people.

And like the picture, there's so many varieties of flavors - both good and bad jelly beans.

April 17, 2008

White Deer

As I said in yesterday's Fire post, it did snow (and the fires are out). It started midday and snowed hard and we got about 10". Now it's sunny and will melt fast.

On Monte's and Dawson's second dump run yesterday it started snowing. At the dump were some deer with an albino-like one. Because along with the large, white snowflakes it was so cool, Dawson went back with his camera. He posted it on his photoblog.

April 16, 2008


I heard on the news this morning that at least three fires in very different parts of Colorado started yesterday. "Oh Dear." We've had good moisture this winter, but if it doesn't continue, the good growth dries.

It was so beautifully warm yesterday! We got so much done outside yesterday and the roofers totally finished and cleaned up. Monte got our parking area in front of the house reworked with a little bobcat so the area slopes away from the house, and gravel was delivered and he got that all spread. We've loaded up stuff for taking to the dump. And I even walked around picking up trash.

The snow is finally all melted from my garden and there's onions and spinach coming up. I always leave last year's salad stuff in the ground and they come up early spring for good eating, way before I'm able to get seeds in the ground. I will have to dig them out eventually, since last year's crops live into another year for the production of seeds.

It did get really windy yesterday. It's been a windy winter. I guess the wind is what wrecked havoc with the started fires. Many homes burned in southern Colorado. We've lived some summers with the danger of fire. Many of the large fires have been close to home and we can smell them. I hate waking in the night smelling smoke, wondering, getting up and looking out all the windows.

There's a local website that began about a decade ago because of wanting more close-to-home updates on what's going on. Now there's pictures posted from all over so we can even check on snow conditions for various mountain roads. When I smelled smoke last summer I went to this pinecam.com and there were questions posted about the smoke and someone in the area wrote answering, as to what was going on, so no worrying further.

What to grab from your home if you do have to get out fast?! It's because of this question and stories told that I've tried to get as much on my computer as I can. I've put most all our important data on my computer creating spread sheets, and I've even scanned in old photo albums and have lots of photos on my computer.

It was supposed to snow overnight but I guess that's changed to tonight. They say the snow/rain will help with the fire fights.

Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born yesterday, the 15th, in 1452. Lots of journals of his drawings and figurings exist, but his completed works are few in comparison.

Because I've been framing pictures (I learned how to cut mattes - how cool - oh, the possibilities ...!) I've got all the frames I've collected all in one room. On the windowsill I sat a funky little picture I have of the Mona Lisa. That picture has fascinated viewers for centuries. From his sketch journals it's believed he used himself as the model for that picture.

From a library book, I saw the building that is home to his The Lord's Supper. It is totally a miracle that it's the one wall left standing pretty in tact from bombing in the war.

Some people have taken his sketches and completed some of his projects. One of those I connect with is, it is he who first imagined the spinning wheel's fly-wheel that holds the bobbin with the feed-hole for the animal wool twisting into a yarn. I could probably say that better if I looked at one of my books, but I think you get the idea.


Author Anatole France, born today in 1844, said,

"Never lend books, for no one ever returns them;
the only books I have in my library
are those which people have lent me."

We definitely have the books in our house - probably over 1000!?! I should count, I think Monte has and I should ask him how many he thinks we have. (OK, I asked Monte ... he says we have at least 7000! Boy was I off.)

We hate to lend books, but we do. It seems the moment we lend a book, we want it for something. So there's some kinds of books we never lend anymore. And I've borrowed books too and I really try and remember to return them!

So I don't think there's many books in our library that were lent to us ...

April 14, 2008

Work Quote

"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else."
- James M Barrie

I think I'm doing lots of work, yet I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I do have to go to the grocery store soon, when I'd rather be doing something else - so that is WORK.

April 12, 2008


My son Travis designed a T-shirt. We usually think of the word 'deviant' in a behaviorally, socially negative way. But if you really think about it, what is the norm or sociably accepted standards might be something we should do differently, and be unique (does 'a peculiar people' fit here?). 

Trav's T-shirt really is a good visual for Blaise Pascal's quote - 

"When everything is moving at once, nothing appears to be moving, as on board ship. When everyone is moving toward depravity, no one seems to be moving; but if someone stops he shows up the others who are rushing on, by acting as a fixed point."

We went to church tonight instead of tomorrow. Aram preached and reminded me of this quote I've read before, and too I thought of Travis's T-shirt design.

April 11, 2008


I've been gone all day and about to leave again. Monte, Dawson and me, along with his girlfriend "Splara" and her parents are about to eat sushi, and then going to a Small Potatoes concert, at Denver's Swallow Hill.

Jacquie and Rich are great writers and musicians of true Folk music. They are always fun. I had to download this picture from their website since it's a great visual of their song, "Time Flies".

I've listened to this song over the years, but until now, seeing the picture, it really hit me! ... Monte has written a song about wishing we could slow down time and capture 'right now' ...

My favorite song of theirs is "Waltz of the Wallflowers" which Jacquie won an award for. And too, I love Rich's powerful song: "1000 Candles, 1000 Cranes".

"Spuds Rule!" 

Anne Frank Quote

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."

- Anne Frank

April 10, 2008


What I'm posting now, I was going to post in the last post, but that one ended up really being about Dawson's photography. This post is other stuff happening around here this week.

Weather Report: Sun and Snow/rain mix Monday. Tuesday was beautiful. Wednesday was cooler but sunny, building in afternoon to 'slush' and then snow. Thursday - it's snowing, but supposed to stop a bit this afternoon with sun, and maybe some more snow Friday. The weekend is supposed to jump to the upper 60's maybe 70!

So ... roofers are trying to get as much done in replacing our roof as they can. Tuesday was a mass of guys ripping off the old roof, picking up the trash, and they tar-papered the whole roof (and whatever else they do - like maybe some heat strips or whatever code calls for). Driving home yesterday evening it looked like a lot of the roof was done. The 23 year old reddish-brown cheap asphalt shingles are gone and replaced with a variegated green, grey, tan, brown quality asphalt.

I ran errands yesterday after MOPS and checked out outdoor furniture. So Monte and me will spend this afternoon together (fun date!) picking out outdoor furniture for his deck off his newly finished office, and maybe replace the old furniture on our much used back deck - which we actually call 'the pergola'.

And my greenhouse is getting some more seedflats in there. I'll be planting tons of seeds over the next weeks. I'm excited, as I am every year, to see the new growth of the grapevine in the greenhouse and watch for where grape bunches are forming. 

Dawson's Photography

Time flies - it's been several days since I last posted. Monday I filled most of the frames I've been collecting, with Dawson's photographs. The goal is to fill our two-story entryway with art, which will mostly be his photos. A king-size antique yo-yo quilt, from Monte's aunt, fills one wall already.

Tuesday evening some of Dawson's classmates from a college Photo Lighting class came for supper - to photograph the food for a class project. We didn't eat until close to eight! but it was fun watching them adjust camera settings, change lenses, set up and move various huge light contraptions and then white boards to bounce the light around. Just a few of the 100's! of pictures they took are on Dawson's photo site.

Dawson's actually been posting pictures for a year now. Sometimes our family happenings get posted there. Like just before the food pictures are several days of Monte and Dawson driving around the NW Colorado corner and over into Utah and Wyoming - as Monte's getting ready to do a field trip for visiting Norwegian geologists.

Wednesday was MOPS. I took a bunch of Dawson's photos to replace photos in frames we already have at church. Our church walls are like art gallery walls, and things are periodically moved around or changed. Dawson has sold some of his framed photos, and has displayed some in an Evergreen Art Center. 

Dawson takes pictures daily and has a good eye - always on the look-out for something to capture.

April 6, 2008

1sts of Spring Chart

When my kids were young I always put up a Firsts of Spring chart, making a new one every year. It's become so much a part of all of us, that even now, without the chart, someone will tell me "I saw a crocus" or "I saw a bluebird... or robin ..." or "I smelled a stink bug".

I'd mark the chart with the dates - like when we see the Aspens with the catkins that come before the leaves. I always mark my calendar when I see (actually hear!) the first hummingbird. We've already mentioned amongst ourselves that we heard the flickers and their mating calls, which seems to first begin on our metal stove pipe! We saw the first grass snake when Trav's friends were here last weekend.

I tend to mark my calendar too when we see a bear (like my posts last August!) and when the hummingbirds, bluebirds and robins leave in the fall ... when we get the first frost and snow. One year we had the oddest event of a tornado touch down in the garden and totally take away all my floating row covers and some black plastic and some plants! We never did find evidence, even though I looked as we drove places.

It's made us more aware. I used to love the smell of the rain when we lived in the desert - it's very unique. Here in the mountains there's an obvious smell of Spring with the early rains and the sun angle in the sky. We see lots of rainbows, many of them double.

I see these as God Winks. Oh how many winks I bet we miss!

Spring Signs

I saw my first flowers yesterday. It's on-and-off sunny and yet snow sprinkles - it really doesn't know whether to rain or snow. Remember ... I live at 8000 feet! But I took some pictures.

I take pictures every year but I'm going to try and date them and keep a scrapbook this year. I did buy a really fun book
from an Amazon seller that's given me ideas for carrying on a scrapbook in a fun way. I do have pages of garden diagrams and notes and dreams from years back all on one clipboard. I change ink color for differing years notes on the same pages. I have notes of what's dead - via underground voles or gophers, elk or dear, or digging dog! - or too, just needing some winter mulching or watering.

With an electric fence, we're excavating more (once it's done snowing and dries out more - it is mostly melted now) and eliminating most of the grass area. We're dreaming of a pond too. We do have an old pond my oldest son made years ago of concrete. We did the sump-pump thing and a series of small ponds cascading into the larger. First off, unless sealed properly, concrete absorbs the water. Secondly, elk like stepping in and messing up things let alone wrecking all the surrounding plantings. And then ... one year, Travis brought home trout he'd caught in a pond down the road. That was nice, until in one night raccoon had eaten them!

This week begins my beginning of starting seeds in my greenhouse. I posted earlier pictures about heat coils and grow lights set up and ready to go. For now I've got a few warm weather herbs I bought there and four flats of stages of wheatgrass - which we've been juicing now. Can't tell you if we feel any miracle change yet! But it's fun.

April 5, 2008

Redeeming Oppression?

Today is the birth date of Booker T Washington in 1856. Yesterday was remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination 40 years ago.

I've read Booker's autobiography Up From Slavery. It was a good read. He was so much a part of reconstruction of the rubble of the South and the repercussion of slavery. His legacy is not just what he accomplished himself, but what he helped thousands of others accomplish--both black and white.

I'm old enough to have vivid memories of the day John F Kennedy was assassinated. School was a very quiet place other than all the teachers crying. And I remember all Saturday morning cartoons and regular programming on the few networks were dominated by his funeral and the constant replay of the open convertible car scene.

Kennedy and King were both at the beginnings of every home having a TV. Though slavery was abolished in the 1860s, blacks were not free. We saw that on TV. Though Martin Luther King Jr learned from Gandhi, OT Daniel and his three friends, and early Christians, that nonviolent resistance is the way to bring change, we did see violence. I hold these images still in my memory too. 

King clung to nonviolence because he profoundly believed that only a movement based on love could keep the oppressed from becoming a mirror image of their oppressors ... Nonviolence, he believed, "will save the Negro from seeking to substitute one tyranny for another." 

King accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Philip Yancey in his Soul Survivor has a chapter on Martin Luther King Jr and says, "Because he stayed faithful, in the short view by offering his body as a target but never as a weapon, and in the long view by holding before us his dream of a new kingdom of peace and justice and love, he became a prophet for me, the unlikeliest of followers."

Above Picture by Jacob Lawrence


I saw this picture in the news about Toyota - these are new recruits. Did they give them a dress code prior to the meeting? What if someone wore color, like red? Boy wouldn't they stand out!!


Should I say anything or let the pictures speak for themselves. If you think of them in relation to me or Monte ... Or think of what goes on in churches and culture and history ...

April 4, 2008

My Worth Quote

My worth to God in public 
is what I am in private.
- Oswald Chambers

April 2, 2008

Story Quote

My friend Ellen had this quote on the bottom of one of her emails. Maybe she did it just for me? She knows me!

"There's an old Jewish saying, 
'What's truer than truth? 
The Story!'"

And I do love it's message!

More Egg Pictures

I got Dawson's pictures from last weekend and thought I'd post some more of the Ukrainian eggs.

And here's my daughter-in-love Sarah with their little dog Bea.

April 1, 2008

April's Fool?

No real facts on this day's history exist. Even Snopes.com mentions it (more than mentions it, it's rather long). I actually just wanted to post this picture I found.

There is a story of a day when a king would change places with a fool for the day. And I like this so-often-true thought:

"Fools were really wise men.
It was the role of Jesters
to put things in perspective
with humor."

The changing to the Gregorian calendar in the late 1500s is what you find the most out there in legend-land - which changed New Year, end of March, to January 1. But it doesn't really work as an explanation since the UK celebrated April Fools long before they adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 1700s.

I'll share a story from one of my British children's calendar book called All Year Round. It's of a baby Olaf sleeping in a cradle slung from the branch of a tree, while his mother mended fishing nets nearby. A large wave came upon the beach and took the baby leaving a fish in the cradle. She shrieked to her husband that the baby was gone. While her back was turned, a second wave miraculously returned her baby to the cradle and retrieved the fish. The husband came, looked, saw the baby, and berated his wife as a fool.

There has to be some fish connection, because in many countries they make fish shaped confections for this day and people slyly tape paper fish on people's backs. Maybe it has something to do with the zodiac sign of the fish around this time of year.

Some people hang a little cradle carrying a fish (like a half walnut shell with a cracker or carboard
fish glued inside) around their neck or at their front door, as protection. Most practical jokers respect this code. But I don't think any of this exists in the USA.

Another thing I've read is that April's weather can be so fickle that it'll fool you into planting too early!

Fool phrases -
April Fool; Fool's Cap; Act the Fool; Fool's Errand; Fool's Gold; Fool's Paradise; Fool's Parsley; Playing the Fool; Tomfoolery; Trompe-l'oeil (A still-life painting, designed to give an illusion of reality. Literally 'deceives the eye'); Foolery; Foolhardy.

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