May 31, 2009


I have so much to post about, but I can't take the time. Company's been here. Feeling the return of the Velveteen Home with school done and all the young people hanging out and working around here besides having campfires and reminding me of all the food/drink stuffs I need to have around again. 

And today is Pentecost ... Monte and me went to church last night. I need to get outside now, so will post later. But thoughts on Pentecost as counting Omer was coming to an end have been circling about in my thoughts ... too bad posts couldn't come direct from the brain ... someday ... scary!

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Taps

This morning Monte and me went to a Memorial Day service at Evergreen Memorial Park. Our friends Ron and Carol Lewis live next door. They own the land and have had buffalo for years, now also elk and European deer, and people started asking to be buried there - thus the cemetery, for people and pets. Ron marries people and buries people - a man of many hats. He wore a long black coat and a tall top hat for the service. Geese from the lake were 'honking'. It was overcast and chilly, but the sun was peeking through the clouds by the end of the service.

Taps were played by one of the soldiers with a bugle. "Taps" became "lights out" music with the added words-
"Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lakes, from the hills, from the sky,
All is well, safety rest, God is nigh."
I remembered hearing Taps at night at Ft Hood when I was staying with Heather. It's a beautiful, haunting melody that touches tenderly deep in my soul. If you click on the above line of music you can hear "Taps".

Taps history has its tales, but it did originate during the civil war. The story told this morning was of a son from the North at school in the South, so recruited by the South. The father, in the Union Army, came upon his son's body on the battlefield. Ron told the story, saying the boy was not yet dead, but died in his Father's arms. The single bugle Taps notes were sounded at his funeral.

The Poem "In Flanders Field" was read, with the lines-
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies,
That blood of heroes never dies.

We sang the "Star spangled Banner" with it's little known other verse-
"On the shore dimly seen throughout the mists of the deep/ Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes/ What is that which the breeze o'er the towering steep/ As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?/ Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam/ In full glory reflected now shines on the stream/ 'Tis the Star-Spangled Banner, Oh long may it wave/ O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

I like seeing large flags wave in the breeze, as did this morning's flag, catching the gleam of the peeking sun beams. I'm thankful for this Republic for which it stands. I'm grateful to all who have given their lives for freedoms we enjoy. I'm glad for calendar days like this that help us remember and not take these things for granted.

I was thinking of our son-in-law Bill in Baghdad. Hoping all is well. Knowing God is nigh and that safety rests in Him.

May 23, 2009

Calendar and Happenings

You shall count for yourselves -- from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving -- seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days... You shall convoke on this very day -- there shall be a holy convocation for yourselves -- you shall do no laborious work; it is an eternal decree in your dwelling places for your generations. -Leviticus 21:15-16, 21

Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks, is what we're in the midst of right now, counting Omer - actually we're almost to the end of the 50 days after Easter, beginning the last week. We just passed the 40th day, Ascension Day, this past Thursday. 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?"!

Jesus rising into the sky ... This past Thursday the sky was very foggy and drizzly all day. Monte's been working on a geology powerpoint, telling the story of their new science, with several other geologists in this new team they are forming. Thursday he wanted to head down the hill to work a bit there at another office. So since the weather was adverse here and I needed some more potting soil and thinking of flowers to pot up, I dropped him off and ran errands.

I always picture the Ascension with blue sky and some fluffy white clouds, watching Jesus floating up and disappearing. I think it would be nice to have a picnic on that day and read scripture - laying on a blanket and watching the clouds. Maybe a helium balloon would be a nice addition to the 'remembering', watching it float up into the sky.

Maybe the 'remembering' should have us analyze things that Jesus did and said too. Do we really understand what he, as God, was showing us in his everyday living? Some people refer to themselves as Red Letter Christians and as they share stories, what you begin to see, is that things Jesus said often look different in differing settings - like we can't make one set of rules that applies to everything and everyone! When Jesus said "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand", what did he mean? When the religious leaders say not to associate with certain people, let alone eat with them ... Jesus shows us inclusiveness as he reaches out to untouchables and the outsiders.

Always lots to contemplate as I continue gardening. The siding on our 24 year old home is finally getting done, with gutter drainage improvements too. Compost bins were emptied, sifting it - re-linseed oiled - and the layering of weeds, grass, kitchen scraps and manure starting over again for new 'black gold'. Our neighbor dropped off old kitchen cabinets we're using to finish the laundry room - I'm going to need to paint them to match the room. And today I'm tightening the screws on old adirondack chairs, sanding, and painting them a sage green.

The Calendar gives me things to contemplate - a tool for living my days present to God.

May 20, 2009

KONOS and Jessica

Since Monday, I've been reliving many memories.

I homeschooled my children. They never went to a school until college. I primarily used the KONOS character trait, unit study curriculum. I was a KONOS rep for 10 years, but actually started selling it earlier, do to my excitement, after I first bought it in 1985 from Carol Thaxton, one of the authors. I so believed in it and loved it (I still do - and will never get rid of it - it's such a great resource/reference)! I could go on-and-on about the curriculum ... konos is Greek for "cone", the curriculum is Christian based, seeing God at the top of an inverted cone, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all of life (including the integration of typical school subjects). We utilized library books (living books) rather than textbooks (dead?books)(and I could go on-and-on about that too - primarily along the lines of first-hand knowledge and living vs second or third-hand info/knowledge). As a rep, it meant I traveled all over talking to hundreds of people - at conventions, and doing workshops ... which led to Monte and me speaking as keynotes, and at churches and camps.

The other author of KONOS is Jessica Hulcy. Monday morning a volunteer firetruck broadsided her, and she is in the hospital. An MRI is giving us hope. There's a site for checking on Jessica and all:

KONOS was another family to me. We as reps from all over the country met together regularly, both at the Hulcy's home and our home. We hosted a KONOS reps family camp for four years
(I'd often have nightmares worrying that I didn't have enough food or beverages for everyone), and "The Dads" KONOS video was recorded here at our home. We had so much fun together and intense conversations! I don't think we could live close together without burn-out.

Dawson was so young at the time and always dirty. I used to tease that he was like pig-pen in Charlie Brown with a dirt cloud around him, cuz he always left little piles of dirt behind, even when I knew he was clean (like even in airports on our way to Florida). Jessica was forever carrying around a wash cloth wiping the kids clean, especially Dawson. There was a video crew here that year. The kids will still joke about dumping the chicken bucket (now the compost bucket) and the camera person not getting it right and wanting it dumped again for a re-take. We'd sing around a campfire, play volleyball, the kids would do music, and do a talent show. Jessica had everyone organized with a chore chart. Monte always planned a treasure hunt out-of-doors utilizing orienteering skills.

Monte always went to these meetings too - so only the Hulcy boys, Wade Hulcy, and Monte - amongst all these women. These were the women involved in the beginnings of the homeschool movement - the trailblazers - the ones involved with the beginnings of state laws being formed favorable to homeschooling. Monte went with me everywhere (he's the extrovert - and more talkative), he wrote songs, and would inspire everyone with his infectious passions. But the primary passionate one is Jessica!!!! In doing a fun personality test, Jessica comes out as an extreme Lion (as too Monte)! She's a dynamic visionary, a loquacious genius, a very fun person ... and I could go on-and-on about her (Monte could write this particular post better than me - with more and better memories! - but then he can be wordy - he's actually quite the story-teller).

Jessica and the Hulcy men need prayers. I'm remembering and praying.

May 17, 2009

Calendar Stories

Calendar girl me is neglecting some Church Calendar stories that I like to remember each year as the calendar recycles. Stories that are a part of our early church history. Stories that the Catholic Church decided needed to be remembered.

I like the calendar as a tool for remembering stories. I drew up my own calendar as a circle, since we rhythmically revisit the yearly seasons. I’m not Catholic and didn’t grow up knowing anything of church history, and I never read the Bible for myself until I was 19, and that’s when I really fell in love with Jesus, when I seriously wanted to live in relationship with God.

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 we remember and they should all have a day on our calendar. I see these stories as a carrying on of the first and second Testaments into a Third Testament.

Why not carry on these stories, “retelling the stories”, “teaching the children”, as scripture so often says. It’s a great way God desires of us, so that we know ourselves, know that our identity is in this larger drama than just me, myself, and I.

So once, when other people were filling out a questionnaire asking who your hero/heroine is with people like Dr Phil or Oprah, I filled the blank in with Catherine of Siena (her calendar day is April 29).

When you read hagiography there’s so much we, looking back on, this is ridiculous and weird. It takes a lot of wading through before you find the real person. But those weird to me things still cause me to stop and ponder, like putting myself in their shoes and try and understand their era.

In Catherine’s era (she died in 1380 at the age of 33) we’d have lived with Europe’s great famine and the plague. An era when most people did not read and write; an era when people desired visions and the stigmata and some lived with self-imposed harsh asceticism; and some women betrothed themselves to Christ.

I wrote more about Catherine last year. The piece of her story that speaks to me is that after three years of secluding herself away, Jesus said, “Enough. The only way you can serve me is in the service of your neighbor!” - and that she did, nursing people, writing books, and writing to kings and popes about reform. Yes, I wrote plural popes, it’s not a typo. Catherine lived during a time called The Great Schism in church history – religion and politics have made history very interesting.

I can’t believe I didn’t post about St George this year (April 23). I usually put my dragon I made on the kitchen table as a visual reminder. It’s a dragon I keep with my Christmas crèche figures (read Revelation 12). Prior to the early 300’s when Constantine made Christianity the empire’s religion, there was a lot of persecution and martyrdoms.

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. It’s a basic tale of good and evil, with many variations – 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 cut off its head. In England, cutting off a dragon’s head, is what’s celebrated. A dragon is often made of 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 it’s the site 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’s said his shrine has almost more activity than Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre – and too, there’s Christians and Moslems praying side-by-side.

And then there’s April 30, another piece of church history. St Pius V, a pope, in 1570 excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I of England. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Council of Trent (not that you know about it)? It straddled several popes lasting 18 years, finalized in 1563. Pius V had the job of instituting it. Its main purpose? Or question actually – what to do with Protestantism? Which really meant NO Protestantism! I’ve written before that Protestantism and Catholicism took over a hundred years of horrible battles, terrible persecutions and imprisonments, before they could live side-by-side, co-existing. It became a Counter-Reformation in the Catholic Church – another interesting era. But you should read about all this.

My brief synopsis? King Henry VIII wanted separation from the Church of Rome. A truly religious desire? No, just political, but the Church ruled then. So Henry and Elizabeth were on the Protestant side, with Bloody Catholic Mary between them. John Knox is another name to know associated with Scotland in this same battle. France and other countries had their battles too. It’s hard for us to imagine living with only one religious option, yet we’d rather other religious viewpoints not exist, right?!

Another person I skipped is Athanasius of Alexander (May 2). He’s noted as a Doctor of the Church (as is two women: Catherine of Sienna and Teresa of Avila), and he’s called the “Father of Orthodoxy”, and died in 373. So Athanasius lived when Christianity was becoming the religion of the Empire, and was a part of the Council of Nicaea, which condemned Arianism in 325 but had to be expanded and affirmed further in 381 at the Council of Constantinople.

Athanasius spent several years with the Desert Father Anthony and wrote his life story, which is still in print today. The majority of his life was spent fighting Arianism and was exiled five times for his defense of Christ’s divinity.

Did you know there’s a James the Less? His story is remembered on May 3. With these calendar days there’s a bit of confusion, just as there is with all the Marys, as to which James this is – whether James the apostle or James the brother of Jesus. Jesus’ brother did not believe in him as the Messiah till after Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus appeared to him. James became the first bishop of Jerusalem.

May 15, recognizes a laborer: St Isadore the Farmer. There’s lots of art work done depicting a piece of his story. He worked for a large landowner from Madrid all his life. Fellow workers complained about his lateness to work some mornings, because he lingered too long praying. He talked with God as he plowed. It’s told that all he did was successful, reminding me of Jacob with Laban. Many art pieces have an angel plowing while he’s off praying.

And then there’s, May 16 – The Feast Day of St Brendan. Brendan lived from 484-577. A stamp was issued in 1994 picturing Brendan in a curragh – a round, hide-covered boat. Stained glass windows have been made of him calling him the Navigator and Voyager. Frederick Buechner tells his story in a book called Brendan. He traveled afar. Ogham, Irish transcriptions written prior to the 800’s, have been found in North America.

Just a religious allegory? We don’t know, but it reminds me of a word I learned: peregrinatio. It's a hard word to define. Our definition of 'pilgrimage' does not really fit this word because since the Middle Ages pilgrimages have plans and destinations and when the goal is accomplished, people return home.

It's been told that three men were in such a skin boat without oars, and when found they said they were "on a pilgrimage, we care not where". It's a celtic word for a journey undertaken for the love of God - surprising and risky and not really having some end or goal in view. But it's not a restless wandering because there seems to be some sense of grounding, and 'at-homeness'.

Brendan's story reminds me that I too have an at-homeness in God, but am I willing to go wherever the Spirit desires me, into the unsafe and unfamiliar - both external and internal journeying?!

May 16, 2009

Dream Quote Ponderings

"Those who've abandoned their dreams will discourage yours.
Your job is to not listen."
- Bill Baren

I just read that quote and wanted to post it, to capture it, so to ponder.

Pondering about people who tend not to dream or dream too small. Pondering dreaming as giving one life and hope.

Or pondering those who do the discouraging of others. Do they dare to dream? Or why do they abandon their dreams? Do they need to step on others to feel better? feel better than you? feel better about themselves? Or maybe step on you in hopes of getting taller so maybe they can see further? yet in attempting to shatter dreams ... what is really going on?

Pondering not listening ... Some speak lies - these we're to not believe ... Listening is a piece of communication, which I'm all for ... yet there's a place for not dialoguing, like in the Garden of Eden story ... How do we know, how can we tell, when not to listen? It makes me think of John 10 and knowing My Shepherd's voice amongst all the other voices.

Oh that I know my shepherd and his voice, and in knowing and loving my shepherd, I have life and hopes and large dreams!!

May 13, 2009

Tulips and Mud

Not much happening calendar-wise for Calendar Girl me. That is, nothing important to me with a story that touches me. But the race is on with the calendar and the gardening season - that's where my heart is right now.

We got to name the road we live on, which is Singing Springs Lane. We sing, and there's lots of springs around our property. Some of the springs only show up with excavation and spring snow melts ... like now.

Dawson had finished the rock work around the hot tub, and I've got plants to plant there in the greenhouse. But the ground is still oozing and it's soup. So for the future, Monte wants to put in gravel and a drainage pipe. It'll be in limbo for awhile.

Tarda tulips are blooming. I'd plant tons of tulips because I love them, but hybrid tulips don't last long. Tarda tulips are the original wild tulips that all the others have been developed from.

I have so much weeding to do. There are thousands! of these baby weeds - not sure what they are. Could have come from last year's gypsophilia is all I can think of.

Planted some nursery potted raspberries yesterday. We've got lots of wild raspberries around, but I'm wanting to see what other raspberries will do. While there in the garden, I picked green onion stalks and asparagus to eat together while working.

Did I say I'm trying sweet potatoes this year? I do already have regular potatoes in pots and the first batch is almost to the top of the pot already, with the addition of soil as they grow. Well, I got some sweet potato slips and decided to try them in pots. I couldn't find any info about doing them that way. But they vine and flower like morning glories, so I thought I'd put bamboo poles in them. And from reading, I'm guessing the tubers just grow down like most root plants and not up, like potatoes. We'll see. When all set up, I'll post pictures.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

Hardy woman to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 40-50 years. Successful application will demonstrate excellence in cooking, cleaning, shopping, washing, ironing, mending, folding, sorting, dusting, polishing, scrubbing, budgeting, and decorating. Ability to bear children and get up several times a night to walk a crying baby, a definite plus. Knowledge of basic first-aid, how to fix a boo-boo, kiss an owie, make a tourniquet, and beat a fast path to the nearest emergency room. Must know how to celan an oven, get a grape juice stain out of a beige carpet, and what to do about bubble gum in the baby's hair. Must be willing to taxi offspring to and from school activities, music lessons, friend's houses, band practice, sporting events, part-time jobs, the mall and so forth. Salary nonnegotiable - actually nonexistent. Fringe benefits include hugs and kisses.

I answered this add. I chose this lifestyle. I'm in year 34 of the years mentioned. This add is how I start my HomeMaking Beyond Maintenance workshop.

Thinking of MOMS today.

Monte and me are going to Travis and Sarah's to celebrate. And then we're helping them put in their garden.

Hats is what I think of ... All the hats we wear. I'm a Domestic Engineer!

"God did not call me to be successful. God called me to be faithful."
- Mother Teresa

May 8, 2009

"Talking God's Ears Off"

I did start my MOPS devotional as mentioned earlier with "If you had but one year left to live, how would you live it"? When Monte and me analyzed that question years ago it seems everything came back to relationship. Relationship with family and friends seems most important, and everything that nurtures those relationships - like time, conversation, making memories.

Having a 'white glove' approved house, and organizing my computer files seem unimportant. Wasting time bickering seems unimportant ... watching TV? ... (you add to the list) ... Do we make comments like, "I can't wait till the kids are grown and then I'll really live!"? We tend to live as if we've got all the time in the world.

That nurturing of relationship with family and friends applies as well to my relationship with God. God sought me and romanced me, wooing me to him. We relate in many ways, but sitting with scripture is one way I really strive to do regularly. So in sitting, simply being with him, he often gives me insights.

I read the Mary and Martha story from Luke 10. In that scene we tend to focus on Jesus telling Martha that Mary has chosen the good/better thing in sitting and listening to him and learning. Listening is a good thing. It nurtures relationship.

Do we really listen to our friends and family? our kids? I used to often say, "My kids are talking my ears off" in a half joking way, yet it's also saying, "they're driving me crazy!!!!", "they're bugging me", interrupting my time.

I got to thinking ... I bet God would LOVE me to "talk his ears off"!

In this scripture scene, as I sit with another reading, I see that "Martha welcomed Jesus into her home". In reading the gospels we see that Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus and Jesus are friends. He often goes to their home. Martha has made her home a hospitable place to be. Jesus feels at home there.

I used to have a book that might have been titled "Less of Martha and More of Mary" which is denigrating Martha. The book's message was actually more of Martha so there can be more of Mary.

I've taken on, chosen the 'job' of homemaker. What if construction workers, architects, surgeons ... haphazardly did their jobs without learning skills and researching the best tools for their jobs. That's how most of us homemakers approach our job - haphazardly. If we learned how to best establish our homes for better utilization, we should have more time to be Mary, sitting at Jesus' feet, playing games with our kids ... 

Does Jesus tell Martha to stop doing what she's doing and sit at his feet too? No. He just reminds her that she's worried/anxious and distracted/troubled in what she's doing. This I think is the main point of this whole scene!

The reality of life is that I DO have to work in the kitchen, have laundry to do, cleaning ... Jesus is asking Martha, to not go about it worried and distracted, but to BE PRESENT TO HIM, to God, in what she's doing.

Time spent in these quotidian activities have the potential of worship! So in wanting to live my days better, as I go about my ordinary dailies, I have the potential with an attitude change, a God-consciousness, to turn the ordinary into EXTRAordinary. I can be fully present, fully alive in each moment, and use the time to "talk God's ears off"!

May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

I just returned from the grocery store cuz I'm making a Cinco de Mayo meal for guests ... but not on thee day today, but tomorrow night. We've got house guests coming. If kids were coming I might have considered a pinata. In Arizona we often celebrated with pinatas, and I've made them.

Traditional pinatas are seven pointed stars, representing the devil and seven deadly sins. Inside are blessings, the devil is withholding. The blindfolding represents faith, and striking 'the devil' releases the blessings.

I posted this last year and just had to do it today! -

Most people don't know that back in 1912,
Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England.
In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment
scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico,
which was to be the next port-of-call for the great ship
after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of
mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know,
the great ship did not make it to New York.
The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise,
and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss.
Their anguish was so great, that they declared
a National Day of Mourning,
which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year
on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.

I grew up next to Mexico. I do know the real Cinco de Mayo story.
Though a small victory against the French,
it was a turning point for Mexico.
Lots of gaiety, color, and good food.
How is Mexico celebrating today I wonder?

What If ...

What if you knew you had but one year left to live, what would you be doing today ... and tomorrow ... and the next day ...? My emotions of the past few days have brought me back to this thought, asked of me years ago by a very dear older lady.

As I sat next to my friend Sunday morning, very recently diagnosed with breast cancer, she was praising and trusting God. As I tried to sing the worship songs, I wasn't very worshipful. I was trying to absorb her positive attitude ... I was feeling her husband's pain ... but the songs words had me going thru the wringer of emotions, including sadness and madness ... but maybe that's exactly where God wanted me, maybe that is worship.

I know lots of people who have, and are, living many years beyond that diagnosis. But maybe we all need to live each day from the outlook of what that diagnosis would bring. It wouldn't mean, shouldn't bring, ditching our jobs and sailing around the world - but living each individual extraordinary day intentionally. Not running away from our life, but fully embody the life we're leading.

I've been thinking thru what to do for a devotional at tomorrow's last MOPS meeting. I had an idea ... but now I've been pondering this returned thought. We tend to live as if we have all the time in the world.

I ordered a bunch of books from the library a while back under the theme of "Creative Journalling" and a book that must be popular just came and I started reading it last night. Where did it begin? What if you only had 37 days left to live ... OKaaaaayy God ... I think this is where you want me to begin tomorrow's devotional. The book is Life Is A Verb. I think I ordered it because the title intrigued me. I had posted earlier the thought to ponder: "God is a Verb".

So ponder.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
- Steve Jobs

"Time only seems to matter when it's running out."
- Peter Strup

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it."
- James M Barrie (author of Peter Pan)

"What you do, [when you find out you have a year to live] if you have little kids, is lead as normal a life as possible, only with more pancakes."
- Marjorie Williams

May 4, 2009


Monte sent me this:

On my first day of school, my parents dropped me off at the wrong nursery.
There I was….surrounded by trees and bushes...

May 2, 2009

May Day

Two days of thick pea soup fog. But I have been outside and got my bareroot things planted - which means all our snow melted. Will we get some more overnight? We could, but it's May! and it warms quickly when the sun's shining.

The first picture shows some of my little Spring friends. Years ago when I was healing from a hospital surgery, I made cute seasonal reminders - could call them icons (simile, likeness ... I think of icons as windows, or glimpses into a reality or truth). I have some Waldorf books from Europe that have great ideas for children (including me) for celebrating the seasons and rhythms of life.

Do you see from the next picture what they might represent? I pull them out each Spring from my bins of calendar visuals. The little brown thing is a seed pod with a cute face. I so look forward from seemingly dead winter - awaiting the buried seeds to spring to life.

A friend who used to live close by would leave me flowers by my door early in the morning or in my mail box May 1st for May Day. I think of doing it myself, but haven't yet.

I've got some potatoes 'chitting' and others planted. I'm planting all potatoes this year in pots. I talked about doing it earlier and here's the site with info I liked best. I put newspaper in the pot bottom only to keep the dry potting soil from falling through the holes. The site mentions only putting 5 seed potatoes in the pot, I had 12 of one potato variety, so that's why my picture shows 6 in the pot bottom. There's only 4" of soil in there for now, covering the potatoes. Once they grow up about 6-8" I'll cover them with more soil, and continue this process till they've grown to the top of the pot.

My greenhouse is fuller than ever with seedlings. This year I put all my dahlias in pots, rather than digging them up next fall to store over winter - since one pot wintered over in my greenhouse now has a dahlia a foot tall. I put bamboo poles in them and have added gladiola bulbs and some vining sweet pea plants.

In my garden I've planted more asparagus - purple this time, more strawberries, a couple more rhubarb, native plums, elderberry, saskatoon blueberry, patriot blueberry (almost filling the planting hole with peat for an acid soil), carmen cherry and bush cherry, and crab apple, and I'm trying a honeycrisp apple.

The last picture is of a swan gourd I bought at an Amish road-side booth in Wisconsin and dried. I actually brought home 5 and only one dried nice.

In Memoriam

I've mentioned every year about the Holocaust Remembrance Day (my post) and how commemorating still has no ritual. This morning in the news I looked at the slideshow of the Jewish Museum in Berlin. I'd like to walk through it and experience it. There are things the world should never forget. Scriptures so often tell us to remember, to retell the stories.

I grew up next door to a Jewish family. The parents had these 'tattoos' on their arms, a forever reminder of a time when persons were unnamed, and instead numbered. There are plenty of surviving pictures telling the story of this horrific time when one's identity as a Jew was attempted to be wiped out.

I used to have a timeline on a wall. As I learned events in history I'd add them to the timeline. Unfortunately these catastrophes, ethnic cleansings, the destruction of domination - one group over another ... crucifixions ... have gone on throughout time.

As my friend Ellen has said, "
I believe it is an act of faith to remember and tell the stories and to recount how beauty and life have been called forth from chaos once again. And, to dare to reflect on the mystery that the gospel is far, far bigger and better than we can dare to dream."
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