June 30, 2008

Who Am I?

I read two things this morning that got me thinking ...

A Nietzsche quote (he is so quotable, and tho he didn't understand what Jesus and his disciples was really about, he was so right-on in many of his comments on Christians and humanity) -

"We are unknown, we knowers, to ourselves ... Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in our selves we are bound to be mistaken for each of us holds good to all eternity the motto, 'Each is the farthest away from himself'--as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers."

This was in context with the subject of a book Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book - that we can learn more in ten minutes about the Crab Nebula in Taurus, which is 6,000 light-years away, than we presently know about ourself, even though we've been stuck with ourself all our life.

And I read James 1, and paraphrasing here, verses 22-24 -
"You listen, but you do not act upon what you read and hear ... Hearing and not doing is like looking at yourself in a mirror, and after walking away you immediately forget what kind of person you are ..."

I've lately been reading in both Numbers and Deuteronomy and see how ridiculous the Israelites were! So many times in frustration, God wanted to wipe them out! They 'saw' so much, and yet in the next instant would forget and grumble and live wrongly. If they, like children, had so much of God's personal attention and guidance, and saw so many miraculous things on a daily basis, can't 'grow up' into a mature faith - how can we?

They wandered the desert for 40 years, killing off a generation and growing up a new generation. Before they were to enter the new land, God did not want them to melt into the surrounding cultures. He wanted them to know who they were and not forget. How did he do that? He gave them rhythmical calendar celebrations and lots of visuals and imagery and ritual/tradition to instill into their lives so they would remember and not forget who they were/are in God.

We too can get so caught up in our current culture and learnings and not know who we are. How best to remember who we are? First: know and believe that God loves me first as I am, and that He desires a relationship with me. Then act on that!

The very nature of love means choice. Choice means I need to know something (or someone), so I can make good choices. But there's so much to know! I boil it all down to simply going about my days in love with God. The same tools God gave the Israelites, I have for my use too. I use the calendar days and all the connected stories of so many who have lived in love with God. If God was there for them in their midst, then He's going to be here for me today and tomorrow. I can know who I am, and live better ... live fully alive! live more whole.

Peter and Paul

Yesterday, the 29th, was the church calendar day for remembering both Peter and Paul. Every year I remember differing things about them.

Some years I've felt so empty that I remember Saul's lightening bolt experience of God and beg God for something similar for me, even if just a wimpy candlelight flicker of hope. Some years I've focused on Jesus' asking Peter three times, "Do you love Me?" - and remember God loves me first - me, as ME.

This year? First I thought how both had their names changed by God. God pursued them and renamed them.They butted heads with each other and challenged one another and this all was a part of the newness to come. Devout Jews, what does it mean to follow Jesus? What does this new community of believers mean, and what does it look like?

They were so different - Peter was a simple uneducated fisherman who probably had no knowledge of the theological debates of his time. He simply responded to Jesus in a direct, impulsive way. Paul was well educated, sharp, deeply concerned about truth, and willing to persecute those he considered in grave error.

The church is built upon the foundations laid by both Peter and Paul. Their togetherness on the same calendar day speaks to me of unity, of working together, even with all our differences of backgrounds, and varieties of strengths and weaknesses, and emotions and rational/reasonings.

June 28, 2008


While I'm at it (and I do love to write ... and I was going to go to bed early tonight ...) things are happening just this moment around here. Furniture Monte and me have been waiting for came in at the store, and they're currently having a huge 4th of July sale ... so we went today ... it reminds us of why we want to keep our pick-up (just don't want it as our primary vehicle!).

Dawson just came home with some friends and they are bringing the stuff in to where it's going to belong. (He's playing in the worship band this weekend at church for the three services, and his friends will spend the night, leaving early in the morning for the next two services.)(We're making use of Dawson and his friends a lot ... soon he'll be gone ... and getting-old-Monte-and-me want things finished up around here - for us to carry-on into our next season of life.)

I saw the image above and it directed this post. Our home is SO messy right now. Maybe not so messy as dusty-dirty. I've been so busy outside - Monte was gone - and this is pine pollen time. I keep all the windows closed for several weeks. I'm waiting for rain to settle the pollen - PLEASE RAIN! We've just gotten wind and some spittle. So yellow dust is everywhere - even with just the front and back doors open. It is the one thing I'm allergic to, but I don't panic in trying to avoid it. I just have to remind myself - DON'T TOUCH or rub my eyes! It's about now that I keep a generic allergy pill handy or the allergy Visine handy - & I have a kind-of cold.

I have my famous quote (my daughter-in-love Sarah wrote my quote on our graffiti wall in the guest bathroom) - "Dust is country". We don't have a lot of dust. We don't have air-duct-work - for heating or cooling. So I don't do a lot of dusting. And with our house being a farm/country/mountain home type decor, I feel that dust is just a part of it all! But this time of the year! ...

And the characters!!! We ARE quite the characters!

Attack! Red-Winged Blackbird

I just watched a news video on a red-winged blackbird attacking some people on bikes, and I'm remembering that I've been attacked by one too!

Periodically I like to walk around Evergreen Lake - they've made a nice trail - just a bit over a mile, and I'll walk around it twice (I used to go, taking Dawson, since he wanted to fish or catch crawdads, which we ate once).

One year they started posting a sign just before you entered the boardwalk that went over a wetland area of the lake with lots of reed/plant growth. It was a warning sign about an attacking red-winged blackbird.

Defending his nearby nest, the
dive-bombing daddy pecked me on the top of my head, and sometimes clawed at my hair!

Apparently they are a highly polygynous species, having up to 15 females nesting in his territory - BUT it does not mean all the young in a nest are his! being sired by other neighboring males. They sound like quite the communal bird, even throughout the year. The nesting season is primarily late May through early July.

I never imagined that the female wasn't black like him. She's just brown and striped all over. It's so interesting that females in the animal kingdom are so bland ... and then there's us humans!!! Hmmm ..........


Irenaeus is known as Bishop of Lyons in southern France and today, the 28th, is his day on the church calendar. He became one of the most important Christian writers of the second century - a great theologian. The institution of church was still in it's 'newness'. He was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of John the Evangelist, who knew Jesus intimately.

His primary work, Against Heresies, was especially concerned with the Gnostics (Greek for "knowledge"). Irenaeus thoroughly investigated the various Gnostic sects and their "secret", and contrasted it with the teaching of the apostles. Many of his other writings are quoted in other people's writings.

Irenaeus opposed the Gnostic attitude toward creation by affirming both creation and redemption as the acts of God. The "One Creator God" worked through his "two hands".

"The things we learned in childhood are part of our soul," he wrote, and he cherished Polycarp's teaching "not on paper but in my heart"; "This is what I heard from the man who knew the man who saw and heard and recorded it".
Irenaeus was the first to state the four Gospels as canon, saying they are the ones we may trust.

"Give perfection to beginners, O Father; give intelligence to the little ones; give aid to those who are running their course. Give sorrow to the negligent; give fervour of spirit to the lukewarm."

June 27, 2008


Should I open a 'can of worms'? I like long hair and dread-locks. It's the hippie still very much alive in me.

June 25, 2008

Dawson's photography

I was just looking at my son Dawson's photoblog and saw that he captured a painted lady butterfly on a lilac flower. He's got a lot of really great photos!


I love summer! I'm outside most of the time. I love sitting at my umbrella table on the back deck, both eating there and reading. I watch the birds from there - they seem to like the sanctuary I've created for them.

I'm posting a picture of flowers on my front porch. Monte built window boxes, but I gave up planting real plants in them years ago. The front porch gets only early morning sun for just a bit, and nothing seems to grow very well. There's also wind to contend with there too.

So I have boxes in the garage of seasonal flower changes. 

June 24, 2008

John the Baptist Day

It's six months till Christmas! It's Summer Christmas. This is the day the creators of the church calendar chose for John the Baptist's birthday, so we'd remember him and his story and his message for our soul's benefit. AND it is full blown summer with earth's bounty.

(This is also the day in history that the first state-sponsored terror against Christians began; the first wave of Imperial persecutions at the hand of Roman Emperor Nero.)

As I said yesterday about summer, nature is breathing out all its extravagance of warmth, plants and color. In comparison to Fall and Winter, my soul relaxes and has less concentration. Inwardly I'm in more of a day-dreamy state.

When Summer Solstice rolls around I always think, "Oh yeah, John the Baptist Day is approaching" and I remember his messages. Amid the abundance of summer's growth and fruiting, John was simply clad, and lived in the wilderness. Amid summer's heat and brilliance, John speaks of repentance and urges us to be introspective. He reminds me to look inward and be awake to the universe's mysteries.

While the external landscape calls me into all sorts of activity, I need to not forget or neglect the deep, rich and resourceful landscape of my inner soul.

John began the announcement of the coming of the Kingdom and the Lamb of God, and said, "Prepare the way of the Lord","repent" (change my thinking). A reminder in the midst of summer's madness not to stray from the path, keeping my feet on solid ground; and keep my soul in balance in life's busyness.

"He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease."

The days are now growing shorter leading to winter and a birth.

June 23, 2008

Midsummer Night's Eve or St John's Eve

Tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve, tho summer solstice was the 21st. Shakespeare set his play A Midsummer Night's Dream on this night, with all its magical forest revelries. It's also called St John's Eve.

I've been to two Midsummer Night parties. One was at a friend's home and most people came in costumes or at least a face mask. The other was in a park. Beauty was everywhere: the gardens, the short rain, the breeze blowing colored scarves we hung in the trees, ducks and jumping fish in a pond, colorful table coverings and flowers in vases and candles, and then the varied extravagance of beautiful women. We ate sitting on blankets and pillows from around the world, around a ring of candles and flowers. We shared thoughts and blessings and writings and a collage.

A friend asked me awhile back to share my thoughts about nature's seasons. So I'm just now getting around to it since this solstice reminds me of it. We are actually very rhythmical creatures, though technology brings produce and flowers out of season and we can now push buttons that disassociate us from the rhythms of nature. We become a-rhythmical.

Could this disassociation also keep us from thinking there's something more encompassing than ourselves, something/Someone greater than ourselves? With technology we keep pulling the future toward us wanting everything to happen more quickly, yet we complain there's not enough time. We want instant gratification yet have let-downs of "is this all?"

We can easily tend to our physical nourishment, but what nourishes our soul? What brings healing? joy? There's a saying - "To travel hopefully is better than to arrive". Nourishment for me comes from making space in my days: anticipating life's mysteries, and God's surprises. Anticipation leads to reverence, which partners with wonder.

I love our era with all our choices of convenience. But for my soul, I do not want to neglect the needed space for Truth, goodness, and beauty - life's fundamentals. My soul breathes, taking in the world through my senses. My approach to the year's seasons or rhythms is like practicing the steps of the year's dance.

Winter is a breathing in, both externally and internally. As the natural world withdraws into the earth and we draw into the warmth of the house. Inwardly I'm very active with thinking, reading, pondering and creativity. It feels like a time of rest.

Spring and Fall equinoxes are a balance of light and dark and seem to bring more busyness. From Winter's rest Spring brings new life, warmth and color. But it has its setbacks with it's late frosts and hail, both externally and internally.

Summer Solstice is a breathing out time. Nature is the exhale of the earth. Leaf and bright colors are put on. Lots of growth and external activity. But internally? We kind of 'fall asleep' into a dreamy summer state.

Fall absorbs the summer activity back into the earth. Summer dreams are not always attainable and with fall we 'come down to earth' - reality. We wake from our dreamy state. Autumn's 'trial by fire' with its fall colors brings an inner fire, bringing a warmth for the darkness of winter ahead. The clarity of my mind restores in the fall and along with it a new vigor and freshness.

This is the harmony of nature's seasons and moods I've blended with my internal seasonal path of my soul - what I call "soul breathing". I'll be saying more about this tomorrow, John the Baptist Day, as his message to me addresses my summer dreamy state.

On my circular calendar I've tried to visually show this seasonal progression with colors of the rainbow around the circle. Winter being dark purple to blue ...

June 20, 2008


I've learned I am an infovore since I like to acquire, interpret, and understand information. A study shows that it actually triggers a chemical reaction, causing me to feel good, thus causing me to seek more - an opioid hit, making me a junky.

June 19, 2008

The Beatles

I knew it was Paul McCartney's birthday yesterday. Something I read got me reminiscing...

I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I loved the Beatles and still love their songs. They were at our local Red Rocks amphitheater that same year too I think. I was looking at all the memorabilia/history of Red Rocks and the ticket prices were ridiculously cheap - like maybe $4. Today you pay more than $30-50+ depending on who's performing. We lived in Denver in those early years and could hear the music from Red Rocks when at our friends house.

I sang the song "Yesterday" alone (McCartneys most recorded song ever), in front of the whole grade school when I was in 6th grade (and Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are made for walking" with my white go-go boots and long sweatshirt, along with other gals in our classes' music production for the school). I still have the 45 LP of the song "Yesterday" (besides their albums).

The first song I played when learning to play the guitar was "Puff the Magic Dragon"...

June 18, 2008


I had to take a picture out my bedroom door, trying to capture both our new bedspread and the flowers. When I bought the flowers to pot up for our deck, I just really liked their color. But the other morning I realized how they coordinate with the bedspread.

We've had a bedspread on our bed for several years that I wove on my large Swedish Glimakra loom. It's a variation of a honeycomb weave. I now have it next to the bed covering a barrel we use as a bedside table (and seasonal clothes changeovers). It was going to rot from the sun if I left it on our bed. And I've put up some sheers that I'm hoping will 'calm' the sun's intensity on our bed.

Theresa's Prayer

Saint Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.

My friend Ellen sent me the above. I'm guessing it's from Therese of Lisieux, since all the others are Teresa without the 'h'. Therese's saint day is October 1. She's a 'childish' saint to me, and though I know her story, I haven't added her to my calendar of people I remember. She's known as "The Little Flower", thus the pretty roses - which is what I really like in the email. And the prayer would be a good one to occasionally pray, believing it into our lives

June 17, 2008

Reading Lolita in Tehran

I just read a news item on Iran cracking down again on women's dress code. No lose wisps of hair, nor anything showing their figure - must be loose-fitting long clothing that disguises them.

I read Reading Lolita in Tehran a few years ago - great read! A professor of literature had to eventually stop teaching after the 1979 crackdown on women and dress code and all. Her students didn't want to stop, so they met in her home, only the men could not come.

They would shed their burkas at the door, and underneath wore tie-dyed t-shirts and jeans and hoop earrings... After gay get-togethers and book discussions, not only would they have to put back on their burkas, but they had to remember to mask their gay emotions when walking home. If they had so much as a lilt in their walk, a male might 'be tempted', and they could be imprisoned and even disappear. In fact you heard of such stories in the book.

How sad.


I've missed posting for a few days. I've been outside most of the days, enjoying the weather and birds, and doing lots of needed things around here. With most things planted, I'm now weeding.

One minor detail too to not posting, besides being dead tired by evening, is ... our internet was down. Why? I was digging a deep hole for a plant I bought and shoveled through our phone line! It baffles us. We built our home 24 years ago and can't remember that the phone cord was buried where we found it! We thought it was elsewhere.

Every winter our garage turns into a disaster! So Dawson cleaned the messy side up yesterday. I actually had fun today being able to look at all the organized boxes of tools and stuff on the shelves! My side of the garage (freezers and food shelves and textile art stuff  remained organized! Now with Heather's stuff gone, we'll go through things again this summer, organizing and weeding out even more.

I've been looking at all the 'out' buildings and what's been stored (dumped) in them. Dawson tore down all the extended chicken runs and buildings. We're keeping the main chicken house and run up for now, but no chickens. With the kids gone and Monte traveling more, I don't know if we'll do chickens again (but who knows - but definitely no more ducks, geese or turkeys - we tried them one year, and don't need to do them again. I now know what it means to be goosed - and then there's all the chicken phrases too). So for now, we're thinking of storing the  rototiller and extra tools there - it's closest to my big veggie/fruit garden.

The 'bunk house' has a couch and desk and sleeping area. It's storing extra sleeping pads and pillows. And then there's boxes of books I wanted to give away, but Monte wants me to put them on eBay. They've been there for a couple years now under the sleeping area. Will I put them on eBay?!

The old playhouse, turned 'Dawson's museum', is now storing tons of boxes of Monte's rocks. It still has shelves of Dawson's collected skulls and bones, etc. That's where I found our front screen door stored. So I put in a new screen material today and hung it. 

The old ferret house (yes, Dawson had ferrets. They are too smelly and we finally had him build a building for them. Dawson has had most possible pets. I got to liking his lizards and snakes. We joked for awhile that the escaped python was probably living quite well between our two stories on escaped fertile gerbils. The Madagascar cockroach and Az tarantulas were my least favorite 'pets') is storing two large fish tanks. "Do we need to keep them?" I asked Dawson today, "will we ever have fish again?" I don't think so, but he might somewhere later when he moves away. Travis had them in college and now has a huge beautiful tank. But I am storing some closer to the house garden stuff in there for now.

It feels good getting things done right and in a put place - with the goal of hoping things get put back in their 'put place'. We're getting better.

June 14, 2008


As always, the 'Happenings' = Life around our Velveteen House.

It's summer. Dawson, 19, has some varied jobs: yard work and photography and catering (besides applying for the honors program a teacher submitted him for). But, we're paying him to work around here this summer. What does that mean? I'm just finding that out!

I came home last night to guys sitting around our little amphitheater having a campfire. They then watched a movie in Dawson's room. How they all sleep in there? ... Just let me say, it's a mess, and I don't see how they sleep - not without imprints of cracker boxes and bb-s, etc on their cheeks, etc!

They feel at home here. So I guess I need to have food stuffs at their disposal, cuz I'm not always going to cook for them. I saw that they made panini sandwiches of leftover grilled pork loins I had in the fridge for lunch, before they left today.

The other day, girls and guys were tie-dying cotton things they bought (T-shirts, socks, underwear, and sheets). Dawson knew I had this tie-dye kit from long ago around, and like his social-self so often does, "Lets have a tie-dye party!" And as they wait for things to get done? They eat. They play board games (which really IS cool). I am glad that Dawson is a do-it-yourselfer, and doesn't expect me to do it all and entertain them!

On the gardening end? Tho Monte's further tractor work will create more work, I'm finishing up the veggie garden and doing things better then ever (with Dawson's hard labor!). But we'll see if this season's weather co-operates. And I'm finishing up more beds created since we've extended the electric fence.

What's beautiful now? crabapple and cherry blossoms just ended, but WOW ... the lilacs are beautiful this year (it could be the electric fence and no elk!) ... and so fragrant. The first lilac picture is out my kitchen window and the second shows the east end of the house with that upper 'shaker'-deck off our bedroom.

My one daphne (which people say I can't grow, but it has for several years now) is blooming fragrance right now too.

Show & Tell

Last night artists in our church, plus extra artist friends, gathered at a home for Show & Tell. Other than a meeting of some of us a couple weeks ago, we'd not gathered like this for several years, and want to do it more. We want to invite more art showings from others into our church, and us participate in showings elsewhere too. 

When you have an environment that values what God's gifted in each other ... and care to learn about one another ... and listen and learn ... it's amazing!

Another aspect to my Starburst felted picture I posted and explained several postings ago, is that so much art work - from literature, to paintings, music, sculptures, movies - because everyone is created in God's image, I believe the searching that human's do, often comes out in art. Even if someone is not yet a Christian (therefore, from my Starburst post, would that be considered the darkness?!*), they often give us a glimpse, like a window, into some truth ... into God's heart, into heaven, into compassion, into grace ... and yet they themselves haven't made that truth their own for their own lives (do any of us fully?! when we're still in process?!). 

We told about ourselves - like passions and our process or journey to what we're currently doing. Some people brought notebooks, or portfolios of what they do. Like Kent can't bring his large bronze sculptures! We've seen some at church, before they sold. Jannelle, (?I don't know her, but want to know her) brought her 'rock' - beautiful sculpting. She loves sculpting, but God has dropped commissions of painting pets into her lap currently. Others: writers of books and songs, photographers, logo graphic artists, clay sculpture, sketches, acrylic, watercolor, and oil painters, and admirers! 

And me? I brought my basket of current needlefelting. I brought lots of sculpted heads! Across one of my looms, I have heads! I have lots of heads and unfinished heads and bodies from all the classes I've taught, and I do eventually finish them. Some people see these, and roll their eyes saying, "Karey, this is weird!" Yet they love them! I love them. 

All I can say is that though there's an aspect of me that shows them as being mine, I still don't have total control. My personality comes through in each one and the differences I'm striving for. But they still create themselves!

June 13, 2008

Robert Frost Quote

"The best way out is always through."

Calendar Stuff

So, it's Friday the thirteenth today! I heard on the news about some people's phobias. Well, I think I was born on Friday the thirteenth, and have no problems with the line up of the calendar.

I've missed several calendar things I thought I'd just skip, but my continued thoughts and liking to write them down, won't let me leave them behind.

I need to go back and check my posting on the Old Testament counting 50 days, Omer, between the two first fruits festivals to see what details I gave. The link will be here if you want to read more. But on day 40 is Ascension Day. Because Western Christians were celebrating Pentecost Day on Mother's Day, they celebrated Ascension Day earlier then I did. I was 'remembering' it's story and meaning on May 29, along with Eastern Christians.

I like to imagine me as one of Jesus' original disciples, having lived with him for three years. I've probably dreamed of ousting the Roman rule and Jesus setting up a Jewish Kingdom, that I can help lead. BUT WAIT! Jesus is rising into the sky! He's leaving us! This isn't the way I imagined it! Now what do we do?! Before leaving, Jesus told them to go back to Jerusalem and wait till the next Jewish First Fruit Festival - Shavuot. I imagine them in that upper room for ten days reliving every moment with Jesus, everything he did and said, and asking, "Now, what the heck did he REALLY mean?"!

June 5 was saint Boniface day. That's the day he died, thus his birthday into heaven, but I remember his story more in relation to Christmas since some Advent traditions are a result of his doings. In the early 700's he was sent to work among the Norsemen and Teutonics. Boniface was constantly jeopardizing his own life for the sake of the young, the vulnerable, the weak, the sick, and the poor - often imposing his body between the victims and their oppressors.

The Norsemen had brutal pagan sacrificial practices. Boniface decided to strike at the root of their superstitions by cutting down the sacred Oak of Thor. Since no immediate judgement came against them, doubt about the power of their gods began.

A few evenings later, on the first Sunday in Advent, a young boy rushed into Boniface's camp breathlessly telling of a sacrifice soon to be done - his sister was to serve as the vestal virgin. They ran, arriving in the sacred grove just when the Druid priest raised his knife. Boniface ran, pushing his wooden cross forward. The knife blade pierced the cross, saving the girl's life. Boniface seized the stunned silent moment to proclaim the gospel's good news, saying that the ultimate sacrifice had already been made by Jesus on the cross - there was no need for other sacrifices!

Boniface hacked off lower branches from the sacred grove, handing them out, telling each family to take them home and adorn their hearths. These branches, like wreaths were reminders of the completeness of Jesus' work and tokens of his grace. Logs from the grove were burned in fireplaces, later called Yule logs.

On June 9, we passed Columba's day, Columba of Iona, who died in 597. Columba was a scribe and poet. I might have written this on St Patrick Day posting, but while most of Europe was being ravaged by barbarians, books were being restored, protected, and copied in Ireland. Columba established a monastery on the island of Iona. When the Roman church was becoming more ceremonial and priestly, the school at Iona emphasized the Bible as the sole rule of faith. For these Celtic Christians, Christ alone was the head of the church - they did not follow the hierarchical authority or the liturgical ceremonies of the Roman Church.

Many missionaries went out from Iona. The Celtic Christians evangelized all of Europe, bringing a breath of fresh air to the church. Pope Gregory tried to bring the movement under the authority of the Roman Church. For a century there was a struggle between the British Isle Church and the Roman Church for authority. Read the Celtic Way of Evangelism for a great read - How Christianity can reach the West ... again! Roman rule of course won, but revival came in the 16th century during the Scottish Reformation under John Knox and George Buchanan.

Then the last missed calendar date I was wanting to post was the 11th, the remembrance day of Barnabas on the church calendar. What do you remember of Barnabas and the beginnings of "Christ"ians? I remember him as being the one who introduced Saul, renamed Paul, to the disciples. Barnabas took Paul's side in his disagreements with Peter. Paul and Barnabas preached the gospel together for a period of time ... 

BUT, I also remember Paul and Barnabas having a split - going separate ways. Is this the first church split? We so agonize over church splits. We just went through one, it's been awful. I'm sure the spreading of the gospel and the starting of new churches could be done less painfully. I suppose it's a mixture of God's desiring relational growth for all, and human blunderings ... (Exclusion & Embrace!) ...

I took Monte to the airport yesterday morning. He's in Calgary Canada for a bit over a week - working with scientists in the part of the world where the oldest life exists for all to see. They want Monte and Stan to share their science with them, and they will probably be writing together papers (and books?) on their understanding of the origins of life. Monte sees the blueprint written in every cell's DNA, as do others. Scientists DO see a creator's hand, authorship, design ... Sermon's could be preached by scientists - Monte does. It's just that many scientists don't see God as someone desiring a personal relationship with us, but I'm betting that they do have this mystical thing going on within them. And I trust them to God. He'll lead them to know Him!

June 12, 2008


Ah, tis the birthday of Johanna Spyri, born in Switzerland in 1827. She is best known for her book Heidi. The classic movie of Heidi does not do the book justice, in fact it's quite different from the book. Heidi is another Prodigal Son story. It's a wonderful story.

But there's more- Heidi Grows Up is good too. And then Heidi's Children answers all the many questions you develop while reading Heidi. Since we collected old books and they fill many bookshelves in our home, we have all three of these books, plus more of hers.

My kids grew up with me reading aloud to them, even into their teen years.

June 11, 2008

One Thousand White Women

What if - the government in 1854 traded 1000 white women brides for 1000 horses as a peace trade with the Cheyenne Indians. That's what the book I just finished is based on. I enjoyed the story. The author tells the story from May Dodd's journals - May Dodd, an irreverent society outcast. You get caught up in the story (I got it from the library and listened to it).

BUT...May Dodd is too progressive for 1854 - having all today's racial, gender, sexual and secular values. It tries, like the beginning of the DaVinci Code, to make you think it's historically real. It's a well written story, and entertaining, but would have been better if it stuck to 1854 voicing.

What I read last year is way better: These is My Words, and its sequel, Sarah's Quilt, by Nancy Turner. They are written from a fictional diary format too, but true - Sarah is the author's great-grandmother. I got them from the library, but they are worth owning. I really liked them because they take place at the end of the 1800's in the southern Arizona frontier, with some of it in Tucson, where I grew up. They begin with 18 year old Sarah Prine on a wagon train. Heather read them too and loved them.

My friend Marty told me there's a third book now. I'm waiting for it from the library, but it's got holds on it - meaning it's popular.

June 10, 2008

CS Lewis Quote on ...

This CS Lewis quote reminds me of one of my needle-felted pictures I did several years ago called "Starburst". It's inspiration grew from an image I got while reading, and drew in my journal and developed further. I'll explain what it means to me at the end of this post.

In his book, An Experiment in Criticism, Lewis writes, "We therefore delight to enter into other men's beliefs ... even though we think them untrue. And into their passions, though we think them depraved ... And also into their imaginations, though they lack all realism of content ... in order to see what they see, to occupy, for a while, their seat in the great theatre, to use their spectacles and be made free of whatever insights, joys, terrors, wonders, or merriment those spectacles reveal ...

"This, so far as I can see, is the specific value or good of literature considered as Logos; it admits us to experiences other than our own. ... Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors
(and other artists, including movie directors).

"We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less of a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through the eyes of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented. ... In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do

God is love and light. God, and us too as we walk in Him, lights up the darkness. My Starburst felted picture has people walking into the darkness. I don't fear walking out into the darkness - the world's cultures, arts, etc. Walking on the rays of light I bring my gleanings back to center, to the light, to Truth, before venturing out again on another ray of light.

June 9, 2008

Charles Dickens

Today, June 9, in 1870, Charles Dickens died. His writing really did a lot of good for the common people and outcasts, improving poor working conditions, and creating child labor laws. His tomb is inscribed with - "He was a sympathiser to the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England's greatest writers is lost to the world."

I've both read and listened to, most of Charles Dickens' novels. Though not his most popular or most remembered book, my favorite is one of his last books, which was made into a movie, which I really like - Our Mutual Friend. And I've read GK Chesterton's book on Charles Dickens, who raves about his writing and likes Our Mutual Friend best too. So I'm in good company!

A Tale of Two Cities depicts both England and France. Dickens was trying to show the difference between a country who lived believing in God and another who seemed to be rejecting God - especially during the era of the guillotine!

Though Great Expectations may be his most remembered, it is my least favorite. Oliver Twist really tugged at heart-strings for street children in horrible working and living conditions. I like David Copperfield, and feel it's autobiographical. Little Dorrit could be autobiographical too. I saw it as a movie from our library, and it depicts life of families who's main bread-winner is in debtor's prison, with the family living there, but able to come and go, whereas the one who could be working to pay off his debts, is not free to go (many of them were shipped to American and Australian colonies).

There's another book series us Coloradoans like, since they take place very close to home - by Ralph Moody. Little Britches is the first book (another title earlier) made into a movie (with the current title). In that first book in the series, the family is homesteading west of Denver. It's a true story and as good a read as Little House on the Prairie. On their 'day of rest' they often went into the Bear Creek River basin below their ranch for a picnic and Mother would read from the books they ordered in the post. Charles Dickens' writings were what the book mentions being read most.

Charles Dickens said, "This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in."


I helped preach this past weekend. We have three services, so I spoke once Saturday evening and two times yesterday morning. Our church celebrated Pentecost for the first time - celebrating the birthday of the Church.

I remember one of our pastors often ending prayers before he preached, "And God, help us to preach!" This may seem odd, but then that would be because our perspective of what goes on at church is odd. What we tend to think and do, is go and sit and sing and listen and hope to leave with, "that was good music and a good sermon". We tend to be an audience critiquing those in front 'on stage'.

I see God as the audience. Those in front are more like cue givers. I'm/we as congregation, parts of a whole body of Christ, are being critiqued in our worship by God. And does our worship and love of God overflow into our daily life? We preach with our daily living.

I grew up under theology that said 'women do not teach men', and especially in a church 'sanctuary' from the 'pulpit'. Let me share a couple personal experiences.

In our old church we were a part of a thriving Sunday school class. One of the class leaders/teachers knew of my 'knowledge' and giftings and asked me to co-teach a series. After he introduced the new series he had me do the introduction. I think it was at the end of that class that a guy stood and said he was offended to be taught by a woman and was going to leave the church, and they did. It was painful to lose his wife as a friend; we had just begun working together on a women's ministry team. Another male friend was terribly disappointed, as he loved what I had presented and was looking forward to more. Rather than making an issue of it I backed down from teaching.

Monte and me got accepted to participate in a national communication seminar. All the attendees were a mixture of pastors, youth leaders and other people who speak within whatever ministry they were involved with. We were assigned a group we'd be meeting with every evening for the week. Every morning was lots of teaching techniques and examples from many teachers, both men and women, pastors and speakers. Afternoons we met with our group's leader, mine was a mid-west pastor, and brainstormed through what my next 'speech' was going to be and then worked on it and presented it before my group. That was the hardest work (worse than school-I didn't work that hard!) I've ever done - a totally different 5 minute talk every night for a week! and then having the group critique you and the final night, video-taped. 

There were five guys and another gal in my group. She occasionally preaches at a church in Seattle WA. There were a couple senior pastors, a youth worker, and leader of a huge singles ministry, and then a guy from Gainsville GA, that I think worked for Larry Burkett's organization. The pastors sometimes did speeches totally out of their spiritual mode. Like a fun one on 'how to grill the perfect steak'.

At the end of the week the Georgia man had a confession to make. He said he was horrified in the beginning that he'd have to sit and listen to women. But after the week he was going home and discussing, with his wife, their theology. He said he had been totally blessed by our speeches; he learned to appreciate the feminine perspective, and really learned things from us.

As a part of one body, if one has a gifting that all can be helped by, men and women, and not just children (which is where we women are told we CAN teach), shouldn't we desire to grow together? in whatever way we can? And aren't we all created, male and female, in God's image? The feminine is a part of God! It takes both males and females together to give a 'wholeness' of what God's image looks like, to the world.

In the visual image the Bible gives us of 'the body of Christ', there are many parts and many giftings. Every part is valuable for the body's functioning. And we need to be utilizing everyone's giftings - which would begin with learning each other's giftings.

So I talked this weekend about a piece of my story that led to my understanding the background of Pentecost - living in the sandals of the disciples, in their Jewish culture of First Fruits Harvest Festivals. God chose these festivals for Resurrection Day and then the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into human hearts, Pentecost Day - so we can carry on as walking Jesus's in the here and now. 

And too, I shared my relational growth with God thru a differing approach to 'Bible Study', which is a read, think, pray and live, approach, called lectio divina by some. Not a dissecting of scripture, but entering into the wholeness of it as a story, into the context, and letting it speak to me, touching where I'm at today, and live it into my life. 

My friend Ellen, one of the pastor's wives, preached with me. For years she's studied ecclesiology - what is 'church'? what does it, can it, look like? Is what 'church' has become right? is it what God would like his body to look like? the representation of Him to look like? If we're indwelt by God, do we listen and follow His promptings? Do we even recognize and know our Shepherd's voice?

Lots of children had drawn pictures for Pentecost - asked, "what does God mean to you?" A fellow artist and me hung them across the front of the church last Wednesday from a red cord with clothespins. Other art was contributed and a gal wrote a song that she sung with a friend this weekend. Ellen had brought her dancing Trinity candleholder (like mine - I posted a picture of it long ago) to adorn a table in front of where we spoke, along with one of my felted pictures on an easel, I call "Transformation". (I may have posted it before but I'll put it below.)

Lots of tables were set up for eating and fellowship decorated with red cloth and lots of red balloons. And Gretchen even made what we called Red Velvet Cake for desert, after barbeque brats and burgers. The whole body really got into celebrating what the Trinity means to us and the birth of the Church. 

This is just the beginning of a new beginning for our church. We've come through a tough time and the body is healing by paying attention to all of it's parts and acknowledging each part and letting them 'do' their part!

June 6, 2008

Cracked Pot

A friend, Beth, sent me this story. I love it. After the story I'll tell you about the 'cracked pot' I made, pictured here.
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots,
each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and
always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily,
with the woman bringing home
only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own
and miserable that it could only do half of what it had
been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure,
it spoke to
the woman one day by the stream.
'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side
causes water to
leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled,
'Did you notice that there are flowers on your
side of the path,
but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw,
so I planted flower
seeds on your side of the path,
and every day while we walk back, you
water them.'

'For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers
decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are,
there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw.
But it's the cracks and flaws we
each have
that make our
lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are
and look for the
good in them.
to all of my crackpot friends,
have a great day and remember to smell
the flowers
on your side of the path!
I was in a small group of gals - we've grown spiritually together. One evening we had some clay, and just did a quicky project of forming a pot that we imagined representing ourselves. So I did mine with very bright colors. I wasn't thinking of me as bright and colorful, but that I'm not a black and white person, nor gray, and prefer color (and that's not in dress, but my outlook on life)! And I intentionally did create holes and cracks, because I had just come to understand...

In striving to live so 'right', striving for perfection ... it seemed futile and I realized Pharisaical. The Pharisees were the main people Jesus railed upon. They didn't recognize their need. I started recognizing the beauty of my imperfections, realizing the more cracks, the more places for the light of Jesus to shine through.

But now, I'm going to be thinking beyond light, to dripping water that helps give life ...

June 5, 2008

fun food quote

"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found."

June 4, 2008

Washing and Dying Wool

For my final needlefelt class tomorrow, I needed more dyed wool hair colors. We clothe the people we've sculpted of wool and add the hair. Then we're done.

Since I gave most hair colors I had left to my daughter-in-love, I had to dye more, which meant I had to clean more wool - more precisely goat mohair.

I finally said "yes" to my friend Marty's daughter's request that I take her sheared goat wool. I kept saying "no" because for spinning, I only like to deal with fairly clean wool. The people I buy fleeces from have their sheep wear canvas jackets all year. But when I finally said "yes", I saw how curly like hair it is. But OH how dirty!!!!!

For years I wash my wool in bags I've made of nylon screen replacement for doors and windows, and then in the washing machine. I fill the machine with very hot water and 1/2- 1 cup Dawn dish soap depending on the wool. BUT, you don't let the machine agitate!!!!!!!! I just periodically push the bags around in the soapy water with a long handled spoon or dowel. Then let the machine spin the water out. I do this several times depending on how dirty, ending with a rinse one. Then I lay the wool on a sheet on my back deck in the sun to dry.

This morning I took four of the bags, leaving some natural, and dyed four color batches. BUT, remember I said it was so dirty? I barely touch the stuff, only to put it in the bags. Once done, like tomorrow night at class, they will have to pick out the grass, and yes, poop. But I tell them it's clean grass and poop! Actually, it's mainly grass!

Info 1: when wool is scratchy? Yes, some sheep varieties are scratchy, but those are usually used for tapestries and rugs. That poop and grass? Factories use intense chemicals to leach out the poop and grass and weed burrs ... and it also rips away the natural lanolin and elements that make most wools soft.

Info 2: Itchiness in some wools, like: llama, and breeds that have 'guard hairs'. In the cleaning, if a company or person doesn't eliminate the guard hairs from the soft wool, they tend to work out of the spun fiber and have ends that 'poke'.

Info 3: Some sheep breeds have adapted to their environment - evolved! Like the Navajo sheep hardly have any lanolin at all. Lanolin takes a lot of washing to tone it down (you do want some left), but if too much lanolin stays in, it gets tacky like hairspray. In the desert where water is scarce, the people use the dye process to both clean and dye the wool in one batch.

June 3, 2008


I just walked to the mailbox practicing my next weekend talk, out loud - both to work my voice (we have three church services) and my body. The mailbox is a mile away. Coming back, with a lot of it hill, I looked for the current wildflowers in bloom and took pictures with my little Canon Elph. I've been taking pictures of stages of flowers in my gardens. I'll try posting pictures on my photoblog.

I told Dawson I wanted pictures of the two birds building a nest in a little bird house hanging on our porch. My camera didn't do it justice, and if I was outside close, the birds wouldn't 'work'. I hung this cute birdhouse for it's cuteness, not thinking birds would actually use it!

From the kitchen sink we've been watching them bring these LONG sticks and trying to aim for the hole. It's made us laugh! They're done now. The other day Rocky jumped off the porch steps, going out of his electric boundary and got shocked, and caught a bird in his mouth. Monte and me were so scared it was one of these birds, but it wasn't. They are still a 'couple' and must be laying eggs now. But we moved Rocky's boundary back a bit!

Last night elk were tromping through a new flower bed I'm creating. Monte needs to move the electric fence further. They kept messing with a tarp and waking Monte all night long. But it looks like they knocked over another bird house. It's post must have been rotting and they kept butting it. Elk are a pest. They'll soon move to the higher mountains till late August. We've not seen a bear yet this year. The electric fence went up last summer when a bear consistently raided the bird feeders.

We have a new bird that's not been in Evergreen before. Last year was the first I'd seen it here. I saw it before in Prescott, Arizona, when Monte was doing geology there. But the last few evenings this Western Tanager has been visiting the bird feeding area. The other evening him and a baby downy woodpecker, with his red capped head, were taking turns on the hanging suet feeder. His bright yellow body and orange-red head were so beautiful in the flowering crab apple tree!

A bird guy told me that with more feeders going up the mountains, birds will start migrating further into the mountains. The one I'm anxiously awaiting is the bright red cardinal!

June 2, 2008

Jane Austen Quote

"A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of."

Jane lived in an era when women hoped to marry money. They weren't allowed to write books, only correspondence. She'd write in the family sitting room and whenever someone came into the room, like even a servant, she'd hide her writing under something on the desk. At least she had her family support, who even helped in publishing her novels.

Virginia Woolf tells of women's plight needing a Room of One's Own, along with a 5 pound income - T'would have been nice. Tis why there's less early stuff from women (although as you read my saint day blogs, you'll see the early church had given women some voice) and why many women wrote with pen-names - take George Eliot, for example.

Speaking of women's place ... I am helping preach at our church next weekend.

June 1, 2008

King Edward VIII Quote

"The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children."


I'm supposed to be working on my piece in next week's church services, but first I'm writing some stuff I've thought of but not written. I'd have lots more written if there were such a device that could transfer thinking to paper or computer! Monte's finishing roto-tilling the next part of the garden I need to plant. Then all that's left is the borders. Dawson's digging a trench all around to put chicken wire. We're going to see if we can prevent the pocket gophers from burrowing in. I'm going to put week block around the edges and plant edible bushes like currants, jostaberry, cherry, serviceberry ...

We've past a few Saint Feast Days, just to mention -

27- There is another Augustine, Italian, and sent by Pope Gregory in 596 to England, and he ended up living in Canterbury, so he's Augustine of Canterbury. He was supposedly a tedious prig and did not get along with the Anglo-Saxon 'savages' - and even less so with the Celts. Gregory had told him to respect the local customs and not destroy pagan temples and give witness by their lives.

The 30th was Joan of Arc Day. Her hearing of voices from Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret of Antioch, and Michael the Archangel, led her into the Hundred Year's War in its 87th year as a teenager, and led her to her death, because she would not deny them. Though somewhat of a French victory for a doubtful French Prince, she was sold to the English, who found her guilty of heresy and burned her at the stake in 1431, as a 'witch', at nineteen. Authors Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw were madly in love with her. Many plays and movies have been done on her story.

The 30th in 1483 is the day Le Morte d'Arthur, by Sir Thomas Malory, was published. King Arthur tales have captured imaginations of every generation and spawned other literary classics and movies. Malory claims he was a hapless medieval soldier who identified himself as "a servant of Jesu, both day and night." He didn't invent the tales but collated them from documentary histories, ballads, and minstrel songs, turning them into a coherent narrative structure. When did King Arthur live? Legend has it, he died on May 30th in 542 from wounds in a battle.

31- Visitation of Mary to Elisabeth

And oh ... In reading the news, today is Celebrate the Child day in China, but most aren't celebrating. It's interesting that most recent news, other than the lakes, is why schools seemed to be the buildings that didn't hold up. I don't hear anyone holding rallies against the One Child rule. Does China still only allow one child per couple? So you have a child die in the earthquake - it's your only child!

A week ago I was going to write and say you can go to the World Vision website and donate money. Monte and me have done work with World Vision. It's more than just adopt a child for $30 a month. They have storage facilities all over the world, ready in an instant to mobilize to disasters. The NGO's (Non Government Organizations) that work around the world know each others strengths and call upon one another for help. The Red Cross and World Vision are allowed into most countries right away - World Vision with their kits for families for tents, clean water, etc. Some of the Child Adopt organizations work through churches so are not allowed into a lot of countries. World Vision was allowed into the Muslim countries following earthquakes and tsunamis. Little Christ's walk the world!
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