November 30, 2008

Boniface and Advent

Boniface cutting down sacred tree
Boniface inspired a number of Advent traditions. One story happened early in Advent around the year 720. He had left his comfortable life when 40 to minister to the savage Teutonic tribes of Germany.
Boniface had taken an axe to their sacred Oak of Thor. The pagans expected immediate punishment. When it didn't come, a seed of doubt about the strength of their gods was planted.

A few days later, the first Sunday in Advent, a young boy ran to Boniface to tell of a sacrifice of the seasonal virgin - his sister. Running, Boniface arrived as the knife was raised in the air. Lunging forward, he thrust forward his wooden cross in his hands. The knife pierced the cross - thus saving her life. In the following moments, Boniface used the astonished silence to proclaim the Gospel, declaring that the ultimate sacrifice had already been made by Christ on the cross - and there was no need for others.
They listened intently. He took his knife and cut branches from their sacred grove, handing them out, and told each family to adorn their hearths with the fir boughs as a reminder of the completeness of Christ's work on the tree of Calvary. It's said they also took logs to burn, and this is where the tradition of a Yulelog began.

"Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf," said Boniface

Advent - 1st Sunday

Christianity begins with the birth of a baby. This Feast of the Nativity originally called, "Christ's Mass" includes days of preparation, referred to as Advent. Advent means "to come". It encompasses the past, present and the future. Christ was waited for and came in the past. Christ comes and is present with us day to day. And Christ promises a future.

As I type this I'm listening to the sound track of the movie "The Nativity Story" that I bought having seen the movie. The artwork is called The Living Cross by Vincent Barzoni.

Today's Advent candle? the Prophecy Candle. "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus", "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". People waited, hoped, and trusted, having heard and read the words of the Prophets. I today still wait, hope, and trust.

Advent each year can be a journey of awakening - "Keep awake" says Matthew. Aware, alive, attentive, alert, awake - full consciousness - to God's doings in the world. Advent is a preparation time - making room in my heart for Christ's birth in a new and fuller way. My waiting, hoping, and trusting - content in God's timing, God's heart's desires and resolution. My desire is to not miss a bit of life's greatest gift from God to me.

The fairytale of the Gospel...[is] it not only happened once upon a time, but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.
Frederick Buechner

Andrew, Dorothy, and Lewis

This is the day, November 30th, that Andrew, the Apostle of Jesus is remembered on the church calendar. For many, the Sunday nearest St Andrew's Day brings thoughts of Advent. Andrew is known for his selflessness, and stands at the doorway through which we approach the deep mystery of God's Gift in Jesus. To receive this gift is a selfless deed.

Andrew had been a disciple of John the Baptist, but left home to follow Jesus. He brought along his brother and fellow fisherman, Peter. Jesus offered to make them both "fishers of men". His name means 'courageous' or 'manhood'.

Andrew was present for most of Jesus' miracles, Passion and the Crucifixion. My favorite story is his noticing the boy with the lunch and he brought it to Jesus. What did he expect Jesus would do? (Jn 6:8)

Andrew had won a heathen Roman governor's wife to Christianity. Andrew was put to death for it - crucified on an X-shaped cross.

The 29th remembers Dorothy Day, a modern-day saint who died in 1980, who many would say, was no saint. I loved the movie done on her, and would watch it again - Entertaining Angels.

CS Lewis was born on November 29th in 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. I've read most of his writings, gleaning a lot from him, and respecting his outlook on life - from his logos to mythos. And I can't tell you my favorite. And I posted of his death on the 22nd, same day as Huxley and JFKennedy. Lewis became a Christian owing primarily to JRR Tolkien (and George MacDonald's and GK Chesterton's writings). I would have loved to hang out with the Inklings! The picture is a statue in Belfast of Lewis as Digory in front of the Wardrobe.

November 29, 2008

Forgotten Thanksgiving Stuff

I was just washing the two tableclothes and napkins from Thanksgiving and remembering with a chuckle who sat at which table this year. Our great room has two tables: the Dining table and the Kitchen table. The kitchen table is usually referred to when we have lots of company as the 'kids' table, and the adults usually sit at the larger Dining table. Well, this year, us older six adults, sat at the kids table. And all the adult kids ate at the dining table - nine of them.

Heather and Bill slept in the laundry room, Travis and Sarah in Monte's office, and Sarah's parents, John and Kerry (I'm a Karey too - us two moms), slept in the guest room. Since it didn't snow and the sun was shining, we sent the guys to get Starbucks drinks after breakfast Friday while us girls tromped in the woods cutting greenery and anything else that looked like possibilities for wreaths.

It was another great day, Friday. The guys sat around talking and us gals on the dining table had dumped all the stuff and made wreaths for this next season - our first of the Christmas decor (I'm thinking I need to pull out my Christmas boxes, just to get my advent candle holder, BUT not wanting to pull all that stuff out yet!!!!

Tomorrow at church the first Advent candle will be lit, and the attempt with prompts, to draw out the children (and us adults!) to share, and see who remembers the Larger Story ...

Gratitude Response

The American Thanksgiving story has always been told me throughout my growing up, since William Bradford, the first USA Governor, was my great, great ... grandfather. Now I see the Pilgrim's 1st Thanksgiving as being the Jewish Festival Succoth. The Pilgrims, reading the Bible, probably decided to celebrate this Harvest Festival, giving thanks to God for a good harvest year and prayer for the coming growing season.

Lots of Indians showed up that first Thanksgiving. They all shared their harvested food (the Indians brought food too) and partied for 3 days. My thoughts think, so much for the stored food for winter - quite the bourgeois thought! But how many people died that winter? None. It may have been hard, but God blessed their response of thanks to Him, their trust in Him, their resting in Him to meet their needs.

In my last post I mentioned not putting up my typical Thanksgiving Tree, and wondered if someone would notice, missing it. Someone did. Kristin Johnson mid afternoon asked, "Where's your Tree poster? I've been thinking about thankful things I wanted to write on it for several days!!!!" "Well ... I was waiting to see if someone would say something, but look, I've now got lots of photos up where I usually always put it". Looking around, Sarah pointed out the refrigerator, so I drew a bare tree with black marker on paper and taped it to the front of the fridge and brought down my many colored markers. There was no need for me to pre-cut leaves. People drew more variety and way more colors, as the day progressed.

We had a great day: lots of picture taking (flashes from many cameras!), games played, lots of conversations and laughter, good food. New memories. Dawson has posted pictures here. (That link is his new photosite and is harder/longer to scroll through the pics. So now I see he's keeping up with his older photosite and posted same pics there.)

I was reading Psalm 100:
Why laugh and sing myself into God's presence? Why give thanks, praise and worship? Because I know that God is GOD. God made me, I don't make God ... nor can I give myself a self. God has called me, and named me as one of His. I am making myself at home in Him. I thank Him, for He is all beautiful, generous in love, and faithful, with His truth enduring forever.

November 26, 2008


Well ... It's the night before Thanksgiving ... and all thru the house ... Splara and Dawson are upstairs. They gave our old dog Rocky a bath before supper at a dog place and have him with them keeping him warm (he's the chaparone). Bill's been reading and Heather is playing the piano. He was playing the guitar and they were singing together earlier.

I was going to just put a link to what I posted last year, but didn't do it right, so I'm copying and pasting some of it in here and writing more. I like the Thanksgiving Tree idea, but where I usually put it is now covered in framed photographs, so this'll be the first year in a long time that I've not put it up. But like my 'first's of spring' chart I've posted on before - by now, it's so ingrained, we automatically think about it.

We'll see if someone says anything tomorrow ... I've got an old one on cardboard in the garage somewhere I could pull out ...

We're going to have a house full tomorrow. Heather and Bill (so cool that she married a Lavender) flew in from Texas last eve. Twas a beautiful day today, but tomorrow we may wake to it snowing, or soon to, and Travis and Sarah, with her parents will be driving here in the morning, maybe in snow (1 1/2 hr drive away). Then our close friends Jim and Marty with their 4 grown kids will be coming. So I was just emptying the dishwasher and going to cut up the bread to dry overnight for the stuffing. Monte's in the greenhouse washing the turkey and getting it ready to brine. We got a BIG one this year!

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

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

Last year I wrote 'gratitude' instead of 'thanks'. It's just something I'd been pondering ... It's an 'at the heart level' thing. Gratitude could change the world!

November 22, 2008

Dawson's new photo site

For those of you who occasionally look at my son Dawson's photoblog, he's moved to one that has better picture resolution because he's got a new camera:

November 21, 2008

The Mayflower

Today is the day the 102 pilgrims landed on Cape Cod in 1620, having been on the boat for 65 days.

November 22, 1963

Where were you? That's what's been on the news radio this morning. I'm old enough to remember where I was November 22, 1963. I was in third grade and I remember all the teachers crying.

Actually, on that day, three people died within hours of each other. But one so overshadowed the other two. JFK, our first TV president was assassinated. Being a kid, I was frustrated the following Saturday when cartoons were preempted for John F Kennedy's funeral that went on and on and on ... !!!

CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley died too. Huxley wrote the book Brave New World describing a totalitarian society that disregards individual dignity, and worships science and machines (GK Chesterton did a spoof on the title writing a book called Brave New Family). His grandfather, Thomas Huxley was a friend of Charles Darwin. I attribute Darwinism to him. I think Darwin would not like seeing where his observations around the world on the Beagle voyage have come to.

CS Lewis is one of my favorite authors. I love everything he wrote. He is so quotable too. Like this: "Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realize the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realize 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, is in a prison. My own eyes are not enough for me. I will see through those of others ... Literary experience heals the wound, without undermining the privilege, of individuality. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do." Like him, if I'm not reading good books, I "feel impoverished."

I have a book called Between Heaven and Hell, subtitled, "A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with JFK, CSLewis and Huxley". Peter Kreeft imagines their discourse as a modern Socratic dialog - a part of The Great Conversation that has been going on for centuries. Does human life have meaning? Is it possible to know about life after death? What if one could prove that Jesus was God?

Kreeft portrays Lewis as a Christian theist, Kennedy as a modern humanist, and Huxley as an Eastern pantheist. Lots of good thought written very creatively. Thoughts I've wrestled with myself as I interact with varieties of people.

(Peter Kreeft's book, The Journey, I read aloud to Monte and Dawson as we drove around the deserts of Arizona for a couple weeks. It's a "Spiritual Roadmap for Modern Pilgrims". A journey with Socrates out of the cave in search of truth through varying worldviews.)

I love books.

November 20, 2008

Reign of Christ with Friends

I just read my friend Ellen's courageous blog post and want to link it here.

I've been reading about Advent before the time and am SO ready, which would mean I'm living in Advent, waiting with anticipation, hopeful, awake and aware, throughout the year! Aware of what? Not wanting to miss a God 'wink' in my day, and seeing whomever I encounter each day as someone reflecting God's image, though tarnished, looking and learning from and loving the glimmer and the gunk. I wait, trying to be present to the moment, expecting that new things will happen, new things far beyond my imagination or prediction.

Another friend, Sarah, sent me her thoughts on palm trees this morning. We had an art meeting last night at church and I brought my latest weaving to show her, telling her I wanted to use it as a background, and needlefelt a picture on it. We were brainstorming trees, and about Deborah in Judges ... And as I've pondered more from her thoughts, I realize how whenever scripture mentions 'trees', I'm thinking along the line of Oak.

Palms are very deep rooted, alive on the inside, growing from within. It's leaves are ever green, whispering musically in the breeze. Date palms takes time to produce fruit, with scarred trunks producing sweeter fruit, and it produces more fruit with age, bearing fruit for a century. And think about it visually, aren't they usually grouped around an oasis? And being a textile artist I love the fact that it gives of itself in many ways, besides wine from its sap and tall timber from its stem, the leaves are woven into ropes, rugs, bags and baskets ... It's a flexible tree, with more elasticity, yet growing upward even when loaded with weights.

Flexible? I'm open to God transforming me, reforming me, birthing anew in me, enlarging my heart. Thank you Sarah for thinking of me and blessing me with your inspirations. And as to Ellen's blog ... I've entered Hot Topic stores with Dawson, engaging the multi-pierced, black-bedecked, creative hair (I was there once!) young people in conversation and seeing them as fellow humanity. No fear ...

And as I think of it, I need to say thanks to my pastor friend Aram, for thinking of me and including me in what him and the pastoring team talked about this week. It is the end of the Christian Calendar Year, with this weekend being "Reign of Christ Sunday". As the lectionary book says -

"Jesus Christ is Lord of all and shall reign as Lord in my life. So committed, we are able to face every eventuality of life because we now know the One in whom our life is found, redeemed, and kept secure. Our radical trust is in the One who is completely trustworthy. Life in Christ is good and complete."

And as Aram said, "Whereas the beginning of the church year, with Advent, begins with anticipation, the end of the church year ends with a certaintly ... Jesus reigns among us."

I like the radical trust phrase. And I'm thinking on "perfect Love casts out fear".

November 17, 2008

Gov't Change Website

We do have a new President-elect and he has a website

Artisans - Glimakra & Gobelin

I'm wanting to sell my 60" Swedish Glimakra weaving loom. I've posted before about my weaving. I've put out some ads for my loom and some are interested. I'm really afraid though that I'm going to miss it. But I do have a smaller loom (actually several smaller kinds) that most of what I typically weave can be done on. With me felting more, I don't weave as much.

BUT, what I'm really doing, or should I say wanting, is a new loom - a new toy. In evaluating, I can't justify getting another loom without selling this large one. What I'm wanting, having done a lot of research is a Tapestry loom called a Gobelin. It's still another big loom, but more upright. I used to do tapestry weaving years ago and miss the more free-form weaving.

Today's Gobelin looms are copies of looms from the Royal Tapestry Manufactory of Gobelins France, near Paris, where tapestry had been done since 1667. It's where tapestries commissioned by Louis XV were created.

Since for years my thing has been "Fiber Arts", and I love history, and I've taught and done lots of demonstrating, I like being able to talk about tidbits of info (iike some I shared in the earlier post I linked above).

Something interesting is that so many of the fiber arts were originally done by men. A woman I believe invented knitting, but crochet, spinning, embroidery, weaving ... were done by men primarily. Some famous quilters today are men. When my friend lived in Sweden, she said everyone today knits, even in church, and that when she'd get stuck, she'd ask and men could help just as well as women. And we just found out while in Wisconsin that Monte's uncle Click liked to knit (Dawson was knitting this past winter). We think of these things today as women's skills.

Once the era in history left castles and Feudalism, Guilds of weavers, or guilds of embroiderers, etc began, on through the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Apprentices were taken on, still usually boys. The guild laws prohibited the wives and their underage children to be used for their work. Then progression to Journeyman and hopefully passing guild tests to become a Master - and masterpieces were created. Churches started commissioning fiber arts.

But then, technology, and the beginnings of Industrialization in 1764. With the introduction of the Spinning Jenny - it could match the production of 200 hand spinners
(Leonardo da Vinci actually had drawings of my spinning wheel mechanism in one of his books)(I have more tidbits in my spinning/distaff post). And too, women and children worked cheaper than men.

SO ... when someone makes a statement that they can get a scarf cheaper at this store (probably made in an Asian country), what do I say? Men and women have an innate need, we are made in the image of a Creator, to express creativity in varying ways. As Marva Dawn talks about in her Unfettered Hope (Great book) - do you have umteen cheap coffee mugs from discount stores? or do you support a local artist and have a more creative mug? Buy something that tells a story, or compels you to look, touch, and experiment.

November 15, 2008

Chicken Parmesan with Eggplant too

My sister wanted me to post the recipe I made last week while in Arizona. I took leftovers with me to share with Kelli and Richard. I get a lot of my favorite recipe ideas these days from Cooks Illustrated. I stopped buying the magazines years ago and just wait for the end of the year - I have all of them from the beginning in hard-bound books and have a 15 year index. Their recipe has a home-made tomato sauce which I usually do, but with organic spaghetti sauce so readily available, I'm using it more and more. (The eggplant and beef isn't a part of their recipe, it's just to show you other possibilities).

Have a bowl with beaten egg and pinch of salt, and
another bowl of 1C bread crumbs mixed with
1/2 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper.
Typically parmesan cheese is mixed in with the bread crumbs, but I like how this recipe puts it on later and broils it. (I did the beef last night with the parmesan cheese in the bread crumbs. I pick up organic beef at my local store, regularly finding it 1/2 off and buying all that's there and freeze it. So last night's recipe used tenderloin steaks cut in bite size pieces, coated with the bread crumb cheese mixture and broiled a short bit till surface is crunchy - on a foil lined cookie sheet.)

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(I always cut it in thin pieces, sometimes pounding it flat)
Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and then the bread and put on a rack till all done.
Heat 1/4C olive oil over med-high heat in a skillet and brown chicken on both sides. Put them back on the cleaned rack over a cookie sheet
and top with 1/4C (1 oz) grated parmesan and 3/4C (3oz) grated mozzarella and
broil 4-5" from heat source till spotty browned.
Serve over cooked spaghetti with sauce.

I've done eggplant the same way too, but this time I browned both sides of 1/2" slices of eggplant brushed with olive oil under broiler, then sprinkled on the same grated cheeses and broiled again.

Last night's sauce was home-made from tomatoes that ripened from our garden. I had lots in a paper bag that were still green and most have turned red. I grew the Brandywine heirloom tomatoes this year. It's the first year I've gotten lots of brown bottomed tomatoes - don't know if that variety is prone to that or what?

I've often wanted to post about umamis and still am not. Just going to mention that it's a fifth taste, and that parmesan is an umami.

November 14, 2008

Anniversary and Appliances

Today is Monte's and mine anniversary. We've been married for 33 years. When I tell the young gals I mentor that we're more in love than ever, it's so hopeful to them! We really enjoy each other's company and are best friends. We're done raising our kids (even though 19 year old Dawson still sleeps at home) and lived through building two homes ourselves (people will tell you that can be hard on marriages) and lived through all the bad and good times, rich and poor, still in good health.

What are we doing as special? Well, eating out is not so special, since we've been doing that a lot lately, as well as staying in hotels and nice settings. Going to a movie? We do that a lot too, from the comfort of a great couch at home, and Netflix movies coming and going in the mail (I knit while watching movies and Monte needs the relaxation after the day's work).

We did buy ourselves something this week: new washer and dryer (my washer busted 2 weeks ago and the dryer was taking forever to dry). In 33 years we've gone through only 2 washers and dryers. Will these ones last us till we die (Monte's parents are close to 90, that's longer than 15 years from now - interesting perspective on life - in relation to how many washers we'll have had)?! We've been in this home now for 24 years and have just in the past 2 years been replacing all the appliances (and toilets, and roofing ...)(I researched toilets - with our low water pressure - we still get a joy watching them flush!)(We get off on simple things, cuz this week I've sat watching/enjoying the front loader washer do it's thing!) And my new appliances 'sing' when they're done!

We're getting our first snow of the season today. Since I've been traveling with Monte a lot lately I feel out of touch with my home, so we're getting reacquainted. And the holidays are right around the corner with lots of company here for Thanksgiving. In fact my daughter just told us her and Bill are coming for Thanksgiving, flying in next Friday. So I'm cleaning and reorganizing rooms.

November 11, 2008


Today is Martinmas, the feast day of Martin of Tours. He died in 397. He was a cavalry officer in the Roman army of Constanine - a soldier saint. Martin Luther was named after him and was baptized on November 11. Martin became bishop of Tours, and became a proponent of Trinitarian Christianity, fighting against Arianism.

My favorite remembrance of Martin's story is that when in France he saw a scantily dressed, freezing beggar at the side of the road. Martin removed his cloak and slashed it in two, sharing it with the beggar. In a dream that night, he saw Christ wearing his cloak.

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

Part of Martin's cloak was saved as a relic in France and kept in a "chapelle", from the French word chape, meaning "cape", and its overseer was the "chapelain", from which we get our words chapel and chaplain.

Every year it seems as this day approaches I'm remembering it's story, as I've been going through the household clothes, changing out summer clothes for winter, and getting reacquainted with the winter coats, gloves, hats, boots, etc, situation. I've been making up bags of stuff to drop off, for sharing with those with needs.

November 7, 2008


Home sweet home - there's no place like home.

November 6, 2008

Good Friends

My sister Kelli is coming to Sonoita to visit me here for the afternoon and go out to eat with Monte, Stan and me, and the 3 Norwegians (every time I mention the Norwegians in my posts I think it sounds like a rock group - which it is! since this is all about geology).

I had written the directions into this high desert neighborhood in the notepad of my iPhone yesterday to tell my sister, and saw this quote I wrote while in Wisconsin at my sister-in-law Linda's home - 

"Good friends are like bras - 
never leave you hanging, 
make you look good 
and are always close to your heart."

November 5, 2008

Guy Fawkes Night or Gunpowder Plot

Well, I had mentioned in my scarecrow post about a gal who always burns, in a bonfire, her scarecrow on this day, November 5, and that I'd tell you about this day on this day. I've read books, heard it said in movies, etc, the mention of Guy Fawkes Night. So for literacy-sake, it's a story we should know (like the movie "V for Vendetta" would be a current reference).

A plot, called the Bonfire Plot, had been planned to blow up the House of Lords in the Westminster Palace during the opening of Parliament. Scottish King James I of England and much of the aristocracy would be killed in 1605. Fawkes was in charge of executing the plan because of his explosive experience.

Why? It's a religious reason. It was a Protestant-Catholic thing in a divided England as to who was supporting who, involving France or Spain allegiances or power, and the Irish and the Dutch are in there too, as well as the Black Plague. I just want to tantalize you enough, giving only the basics, so if you want to read more (or watch a 28 minute video) Google it :0). The plot was foiled.

Yearly celebrations involve fireworks and bonfires where 'guys' are burnt.

So "remember, remember, the 5th of November".

November 4, 2008

Part-time Pets

Stan is on his fifth iguana. This one likes to climb up and sit on the fireplace mantle. Stan always lets it sit on his arm if he’s watching TV and strokes it. It rides on his back and across his shoulders. He takes it to his office during the day and it’ll sit in the sun on the windowsill. We gave him his fourth iguana, which Dawson had named Striker.

I’ve often said someone needs to start a business called “Part-time Pets”. All kids want to experience so many pets, but get tired of them and want to try another pet. Once they find out cages need regular cleaning, and some smell worse sooner than other kinds of pets, they get tired of them. Or once they find out it sleeps all day and only plays at night, it’s no fun. Or it scratches … or bites …
They just need to get it out of their system and then pass the pet on to someone else. The only problem is this business needs to develop the technology for "Honey, I shrunk the pets", because everyone wants a puppy or kitten first - a baby whatever, or see them born.

Dawson has had SO many pets! Travis and Heather had dogs, cats and gerbils. I had a rabbit and got sick of taking care of it. Our chickens are gone and only one dog left. But Dawson has even had two ferrets (very fun, but smelly), a Madagascar hissing cockroach, tarantulas, snakes, including a python, and lizards and the iguana (none of these cuddly soft!).

I couldn’t imagine this iguana getting big and living in cold Evergreen. Stan was living in Washington at the time and we were heading up there to do some speaking, so we asked him if he’d like Dawson’s iguana (we had it a year – been there – done that). He said he’d have to keep it at his office. So we traveled with the iguana in its large glass tank. We had to speak in Idaho first, so left it in the hotel room. We have so much fun imagining the maid who cleaned our room.

Striker ended up being a female cuz when Stan moved back to AZ, it laid a bunch of eggs. Stan and Striker really had an affection for each other, so when it got sick and died, he was really heartbroken. So now he’s got another one.

I'm back at my sister Kelli's now, staying for the night, and we're about to go out to eat a fun lunch.

November 3, 2008


I'm in Sonoita AZ at Monte's partner Stan's home. Yesterday we flew into Tucson and went grocery shopping since I'm making tonight's supper for us, three Norwegians who flew in last night, and then Stan and Monte's secretary, Lori and husband. I just took my Mystery Pecan Pie (from my own Hearth & Home cookbook) out of the oven. And about to start the beginnings of chicken and eggplant parmesan. I want to go with them later this afternoon to a local vineyard, then back here for supper.

After shopping yesterday we went to my sister Kelli's home. As the afternoon progressed all my siblings and mom were there. Before everyone started to go their separate ways we took a picture outside, realizing that the last time we had taken a picture together was in the same setting and before my dad died, so before 2001!

I took a pic of Stan's tile floor. It's so nostalgic for me. Our home we built ourselves years ago in the Tucson Mtns, was almost totally tiled in this Mexican tile I so love!

November 1, 2008

All Saints Day

Yesterday I started telling the story of Martin Luther posting a list for church reform on the castle door. What I like most about the story, is that Prince Frederick had a huge collection of Saint relics and every November 1st, All Saints Day, he opened his castle doors for all Europe to come and (sight-) see (maybe buy relics/souvenirs! like we do when we travel!).

People did come from all Europe and on the castle door was posted Luther's 95 Thesis for all to see.
 Because of people telling all they met as journeying home, and the printing press having printed Luther's Thesis, they say that all of Europe heard of the church reform list in 4 weeks!

Did Protestantism just take off from then? If you read history, no. Law was, that a country went as the rulership went. So like with England, you have a century of war - a swing from a Henry to a Bloody Mary to an Elizabeth, etc. Scotland and mainland Europe was just as bad. Many massacres.

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

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

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

I've posted before about how I use the kitchen table to place visuals, many hang from a wreath over the table. Visual Imagery is just as important and needed as the Rational. Visuals help remind my heart. So for this day, I like to fill a shallow clay pot with lots of varieties of candles standing in sand. Contemplative, metaphorical me watches as the many varieties of people (candles) burn together and eventually falling on one another, igniting one another, and melting together. It's such a great visual of the community in Christ.
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