Friday, December 2, 2016

Words of Wisdom

My friend Sue Ellen Hall posted these words from Howard Thurman which are so appropriate for our lives today:

“Life Goes On”
During these turbulent times we must remind ourselves repeatedly that life goes on.
This we are apt to forget.
The wisdom of life transcends our wisdoms;
the purpose of life outlasts our purposes;
the process of life cushions our processes.
The mass attack of disillusion and despair,
distilled out of the collapse of hope,
has so invaded our thoughts that what we know to be true and valid seems unreal and ephemeral.
There seems to be little energy left for aught but futility.
This is the great deception.
By it whole peoples have gone down to oblivion
without the will to affirm the great and permanent strength of the clean and the commonplace.
Let us not be deceived.
It is just as important as ever to attend to the little graces
by which the dignity of our lives is maintained and sustained.
Birds still sing;
the stars continue to cast their gentle gleam over the desolation of the battlefields,
and the heart is still inspired by the kind word and the gracious deed.
There is no need to fear evil.
There is every need to understand what it does,
how it operates in the world,
what it draws upon to sustain itself.
We must not shrink from the knowledge of the evilness of evil.
Over and over we must know that the real target of evil is not destruction of the body,
the reduction to rubble of cities;
the real target of evil
is to corrupt the spirit of man and to give his soul the contagion of inner disintegration.
When this happens,
there is nothing left,
the very citadel of man is captured and laid waste.
Therefore the evil in the world around us must not be allowed to move from without to within.
This would be to be overcome by evil.
To drink in the beauty that is within reach,
to clothe one’s life with simple deeds of kindness,
to keep alive a sensitiveness to the movement of the spirit of God
in the quietness of the human heart and in the workings of the human mind—
this is as always the ultimate answer to the great deception.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent 1, 2016



Advent, a time of waiting. A time of anticipation. A time of Hope. This year more than any I have experienced in a long time, I am in need of Hope. Hope for Light in a time of darkness. Hope for Love in a time of hatred and bigotry. Hope for Laughter in a time of sadness and bewilderment. Hope for Peace in a time of threat. And so I light my first Advent candle knowing that even as I Hope, I must also live in the moment given me already claiming the promise of Hope for Light and Love, Laughter and Peace.
Blessings to you all ~  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Non-traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Almost three months ago I had a blood panel taken and my doctor called to say, "Your triglycerides are through the roof." He gave me a plan that included increasing some meds and I said to myself, no way. So I did some research and presented him with a plan that he agreed to, with another blood panel to be taken next month. Part of the plan was to cut out refined sugar and cut down on carbs. And so I did. 

Then along comes Thanksgiving. Two of my signature dishes are dressing and pecan pie. However, the couple coming to join us for this meal do not eat carbs or sugar. They have been doing this for a long time and are very good at staying with their plan. And I shouldn't be eating them at least not before my next blood panel. 

So what do we have? 


We started with June's colorful veggie plate with dip.

I made a Waldorf salad. And you will notice the table is in blue. When I went to the store on Saturday to pick up a few Thanksgiving decorations, everything was Christmas. So I opted for the blue I already had. 

I made a favorite zucchini, tomato and parmesan dish.
Michael brought wood grilled, balsamic Brussel sprouts with bacon and
cauliflower mashed potatoes. No potatoes - just cauliflower whipped with butter,
sour cream and a little parmesan. My goodness, they actually taste like mashed potatoes!
Dean smoked and roasted the turkey and made gravy.
June brought three bottles of wine.


It may have been non-traditional and it was a feast. I have promised Dean I will make a little batch of dressing to go with our leftover turkey. Meanwhile, I think we all four left the table full and happy and very thankful for a good meal with good friends. 
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Witnessing Follow-up

This is an excellent article to help you decide whether or not to wear the safety pin. Having read it, I realize I was a little naive in thinking the pin was the equivalent of the ribbon.

https://isobeldebrujah.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/so-you-want-to-wear-a-safety-pin/


Witnessing

The more I read, the more I hear, the more convinced I am that one way we push back the darkness is to live in Love and Light in our ordinary everyday lives. For my Christian friends, you may remember that most people met Jesus while going about their daily lives: the woman at the well, Mary and Martha preparing for guests, Lazarus collecting taxes, Peter fishing. Ordinary people doing ordinary things. 

There is a lot of talk these days about what we can do. One suggestion is to keep on doing what you always do: live your lives full of love for your family and friends, be respectful of all people, and whether you wear a safety pin or not, stand up for what you know to be right. And enjoy your life. If you don’t, then the darkness wins. 

As for the safety pin, let me tell you a story. Back in the ‘80s when apartheid was the law in South Africa, an organization I was a part of begin to wear small black ribbons as a statement against that evil oppression. We marched at the South African Embassy. Some women were even arrested. I was not arrested but I did march and I wore the ribbon. Day after day in my little southern town I wore the ribbon. I may have been the only one in town. And once in a while someone would ask about it. 

When they did, that gave me the opportunity to talk about apartheid, about divesting of stocks in companies that invested in South Africa, or keeping just enough stock to have a vote. Over the several years (yes years) that I wore the ribbon, I had a number of those conversations. It was a very tiny witness in my ordinary space. 

So I would say, if you want to wear the safety pin, wear it. Maybe someone will ask you why and you can witness in your own small way to the very real fright that Muslims, women, the LBGTQ community and others are experiencing right now. Maybe someone will see it on your lapel and know that in that store or on that bus in that moment, there is someone who will stand up for them. And if you don’t want to wear the pin, don’t. Just keep living your life in respect and kindness, in love and grace, teaching your children and friends to be respectful and kind as well.


The big events will happen. You will go to Washington and march. You will call your congress person. You will write letters. You will vote. Or you won’t. And you won’t let the darkness win. My favorite quote during all of this comes from The Hobbit:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Blessings on this journey, my friends ~ 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Slice of Americana

In the historic mining town of Randsburg, CA there is an old grocery store, restaurant. We stopped there for lunch on our way down 395 yesterday. Here's what we found.
Dirt bikers taking a lunch break. All of them long, lean, ageless and friendly as could be. Note that Dean is the only one in a clean blue T shirt.
The food was good plain American lunch food: burgers, sandwiches, and more kinds of dairy desserts than you can imagine. The shakes I saw looked great and if I ever go back to eating sugar, I'm stopping in here again for a shake or a sundae. 


Next to our table were shelves full of handmade replicas of buildings around the town.

Another wall was covered with a California flag and pictures of celebrities who had been there - think  old time cowboy movie stars. There is a even a little sign that was posted in several places asking the question you are probably asking yourself: Where the hell is Randsburg?

The outside of the building. We found out the owners were new, having taken over on July 1st with three aims in mind: 1) Be friendly to the customers (which she said hadn't been happening), 2) have really good food, and 3) get it out in a timely manner. They cut the menu to the basics and fed all the bikers, a family of 6 and us very quickly. Dean's hamburger was a good old fashioned '50's hamburger. My grilled cheese came with pickles and chips on traditional white bread (although I was offered options). We walked away rather regretting our decision to forego the shakes.

The building next door. 

While we were there a huge Coors beer truck unloaded cases of beer to the bar down the street and the food service truck unloaded dollies of food to the restaurant in preparation for a packed dirt-biking weekend when the "ghost town" of Randsburg will come alive with people having fun and enjoying good food. It is definitely worth the stop.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween Pictures

Although I didn't get to see them in person, I too want to post costume pictures of at least 2 of my grands for Halloween.
This picture is to remind you of how they usually look.

Wolf Man

And Oh my goodness, she's a Blond!! 
"This is Lucy from the anime Fairy Tail. She has whip on her left hip and, on her right, keys to unlock the doors and command the beings of the Celestial Plane. Or something like that." Thanks, Michelle. I never would have known. 

Sitting behind Lucy is this ghostly figure, a creation of Michelle's crafty mind with some inspiration from a project the kids did at Science Works a couple of years ago.