Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nothing like Family

One part of the family arrived yesterday afternoon. The grands headed into the snow. The adults started to talk. Dinner was amazing - both the food and the conversation. My ego received a Huge boost around the meal I had prepared ~ including a request that we have the same thing one more time before they leave. :D

We had snow over night - with the sun coming up in a clear blue sky this morning. What a day for tubing - or skiing - or just being out. Or even being in by the fire reading and talking and being together. Gorgeous day! Hope another family comes up at least for the day.

It's going to be a delightful week - the perfect start to a wonderful new year! ~ blessings

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day

Often we think Christmas starts with the first carols in tv ads and ends on Christmas night. That may be true in retail. In liturgy it is just plain wrong. Liturgically we anticipate Christmas through the time of Advent - the waiting, the wonder, the anticipation. Christmas begins on . . . Christmas. Then is when the carols are sung, the birth is celebrated and the trees are lit.

I remember my father telling me that he and his siblings came downstairs on Christmas morning to the decorated tree. No tree before that because Christmas hadn't come yet. Well a lot has happened in the last 100 years (wow - that is amazing and as my dad was born in 1905, 1909 would have found him old enough to remember such delight.). Decorations go up even before Thanksgiving now and we have had our tree lit and enjoyed for a while.

Still - deep in the human soul is the recognition that something (the solstice, the birth, the candles) is just a beginning. And so my tree is lit, so are nativity candles and soon I will turn on the carols. It is a blessed time and will continue to be so ~ with Joy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May you have a wonderful day ~ a merry day ~ and a blessed day ~ filled with the wonder of children and the Joy of new birth!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

Anticipation and Excitement are everywhere. Strangers greet each other with smiles and good wishes. Santa is already on his way due to the international dateline. The morning unfolds in gentle stages bringing Light slowly but surely back to our time. And some where - in some hospital or tent or home or stable - a mother waits to give birth to a baby who just may change the world.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Did you notice? Did you see it? Light. Just a wee bit more than yesterday. Arriving just a tiny bit earlier -- and maybe staying just a wee bit later tonight. Light. Give thanks and be grateful. ~ with blessings

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Solstice is Coming

I can almost remember when I first learned that early, early Christians, moving into northern Europe, incorporated the birth of Jesus into the time of the solstice celebration when the people celebrated Light coming back to a darkening earth. So perfect. As a Christian I was delighted to feel this centuries long connection with my ancestors of the earth and sky.

This year I am particularly aware that we are within 48 hours of the solstice. The mornings have stayed dark longer. The evenings have turned dark sooner. The lights that sparkle on our tree and the candles around the nativity have made an effort to dispel the gathering gloom. Now it is time for the cosmos to change, for there to be just a little more light. Maybe just as much as an extra large star - or the bubbly smile on a baby's face. Just a little more.

No wonder the birth of the Christ slipped so nicely into what people already believed and hoped. Light ~ literal, metaphorical and existential ~ is coming soon. The Solstice and right behind it, Jesus. Amazing! Peace and blessed be ~ and a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Sounds of Morning

Dean has a morning routine - and when he gets up before me, I sometimes lie in bed and listen.

He makes his pot of tea. (opening of dishwasher, drawers; running and pouring of water; the beginning gurgles as the tea starts to brew).

He crosses the living room and builds a fire. (scrap of cold ashes being removed, footsteps to the deck for wood, the moving around of the wood as it becomes a stack in the fireplace, the click of the lighter, the screen being closed).

He walks back across the room to pour his first cup of tea (the gentle trickle of tea into his mug) and refill the pot (a stronger stream of water). By now the fire has begun to crackle and snap. Footsteps again as he crosses to his special corner of the window seat and settles in to write in his journal and prepare for his day.

The gentle aroma of his special blend of tea wafts into the bedroom. The fire continues to crackle. Otherwise all is quiet.

It is a nice way to start a morning, listening to the sounds of home ~ with blessings

Monday, December 14, 2009

Good Wishes

There are some in the conservative media who are upset because there are retailers, sales clerks and others who do not wish them Merry Christmas. They believe Happy Holidays or anything else is opting for being politically correct. Bah, humbug!

When I was little I always wondered how people wishing me Merry Christmas knew I was Christian and not Jewish. When people wished me a Happy Holiday, I always smiled and answered back. From my 66 year perspective on life let me tell you, if someone wishes me a heartfelt greeting this time of year, I take it with delight.

I lived for over 25 years in a town with one of the most conservative churches in the country. And because I attended a much more liberal congregation, people from the other church were always saying they would pray for me. I always replied "Thank you and I will pray for you." If someone wanted to pray for me - lift my life to the God of their choice - I accepted it. Perhaps they did pray that I change my liberal ways. Didn't matter. God knows me and is going to offer me the gifts that I need to be the person God intended me to be.

Whatever the words you are offered this time of year, whatever the reason and meaning behind them, I hope you will smile and offer back a sincere and caring greeting of your own. It is a hard economic time. Stores are still crowded and sales clerks hassled. You may be feeling edgy and wishing you had more to spend. The Spirit of Light and Hope, Peace and Love that permeates all spirituality at this season is more important to impart to each other than any argument over the words we use to convey that Spirit. ~ with blessings

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Time to Give

The time of giving is here. Churches, Synagogues, groups, teams, offices, schools all adopt families from various agencies and buy presents otherwise unavailable to that family. And this year you may be wondering if you can do that, because you too may be hurting financially. The economy is hard. Still - giving can be simple: the change from your car, a dollar, change from the groceries in the Salvation Army pot. The agency you donate to will take your change and put it with lots of other change and create a meal or other small miracle for someone.

Remember too that someone close to you may need that small miracle. However affluent you are, there is someone close to you - in the neighborhood, pew, book club, office - who may need an Angel this year. Giving need not be limited to those places where you get a tax write off.

This time of year all sorts of places are giving. Come May, your women's shelter will still have clients, need to pay their electric bill, and need soap, shampoo, deodorant and lotion for those clients. Mark a day in May or June on your calendar Now, a reminder to give again. Whether another dollar or hundreds, the donation will be welcomed and used.

And of course give of yourself. Hugs are a great way to give of yourself. Invite a friend to tea or hot chocolate, just because. Gather a group to go caroling. In the midst of all the busy-ness, smile and greet people with Joy. You can be a blessing to those around you and that just may be the most special gift of all ~ blessings

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Days

In Virginia we occasionally had snow days. There was just too much snow for the school buses to maneuver on the hills of Lynchburg. The kids stayed home, we played games by the fire, popped corn, drank hot chocolate and in general had a lovely retreat day.

Although we have no kids at home to worry about school schedules, Dean tells me that when he did, if there was too much snow in the morning for the buses to run, the kids just waited until the roads were clear about 10 o'clock and headed for the slopes.

Our economy depends on folks making it to the ski slopes and especially fresh powder. So we have one of the best snow removal operations around. I was awake in the middle of the night and watched the snow plow on the street in front of the house. They work around the clock so all those folks who have been panting for the snow to come can get here.

Nonetheless, today, Dean and I are taking a "snow day" today. I am going to decorate the tree, listen to carols, and keep the fire going all day. There are 18 inches or more out there and it is still coming. A good day to stay in and enjoy and be grateful that I don't Have to get out. ~ blessings

Friday, December 4, 2009

Proud grandmother

Tonight is another opening night in this family! The theatrical tradition continues as grandson J opens in High School Musical II at his community theatre. He played the role in HSM about a year (or more) ago and now is reprising the role in the next version.

I decided to go over and spend the weekend. See him tonight and tomorrow night. Spend tomorrow with my daughter who is selling her handmade jewelry at a craft fair. There are also trips to the book store, Trader Joe's and World Market planned. It will be a nice weekend. Dean will get a bit of a retreat as he will be on his own. I will get home before the snow flies on Sunday night. Looking forward to it. ~ with blessings

Monday, November 30, 2009

Through the Valley

My cousin's husband died just before Thanksgiving. He was 94, she is 89. What an amazing life they have had together! When I talked to her this morning, I was reminded again of what the Psalmist helps us affirm: "When I walk through the valley of death, you are with me." I have learned that the optimum word here is "through". We walk "through" the valley -- we do not stop and set up housekeeping.

Depending on the situation, some of us need to take a longer walk or stay a bit longer than others. That's ok. It is not a contest to see who can stay longer or get out first. It is the natural process of grief that we keep moving ~ and most of us do whatever our situation.

At 89 my dear cousin tells me that when this week is over and memorial service done, she must get back to her exercise class because her legs are getting too stiff from sitting so much recently. She is moving through even on sore, stiff legs. Blessings to all who keep moving at whatever is your journey's pace ~

Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of the church year. Advent: ad - to, venio - come. What is coming? A time of waiting, wondering, anticipating. This afternoon (glorious, beautiful, clear and cold) we walked into the woods, cut a tree that was hidden in the woods where it could not grow much taller, and brought it home. It stands in its corner, branches still bare of decoration except its own natural green. It is lovely. And it too waits. Waiting for my time, when I am ready to decorate and bring it to life in another way. Waiting for glitter and light, tinsel and ornaments, each with their own story. I wait too - for a time that comes from deep inside when my soul says, "Now." When I am ready.

New life is coming and we must each prepare and be ready in order to welcome it when it comes.

~ with blessings

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanks the Morning After

What an amazing day!

~ late Wednesday night, still in the kitchen, I started to wonder why we do all this and before that thought could even clear my brain, I realized: a tradition of giving thanks, going all the way back to 1621. All over this country women and some men had spent Wednesday in the kitchen. The line of amazing women in whose tradition I stand cooked and gathered family around them, and my daughters and I continue to do the same.

~ Thanksgiving Day itself saw Michelle and me in the kitchen at 5:15 AM, putting a Huge turkey in the oven. Back to sleep for a little while and then Son offered to run to the deli for donuts even as the aroma of turkey began to fill the house.

~ Friends from next door arrived bringing their contribution to the feast.

~ We ate at 1 - took a nice gentle hike - home for pie (three different kinds!) - and then games: 42, Texas Hold 'Em, and then a rousing game of Mafia in which all ages participated, laughed, clapped and were delighted in being together.

~ it was an international Thanksgiving with our newest family member from China for whom Marc prepared a lovely spicy fish. We enjoyed sharing the traditions and reasons why we were gathered and eating so much. :)

~ We are a blessed family. Grandchildren play together in joy. Neighbors enjoy being with us. Everyone pitches in to help ~ and answers Mama Susan's "I need help" quickly and without grumbling too much. :)

~ On Facebook a friend mentioned she had to work. She's a nurse. For all of you who were there for others, bless you. To all of us: blessings, gratitude and a deep understanding of why we do this every year ~

Monday, November 23, 2009

Family, Fun and Miracles

I do love the way the Universe often gives us what we need instead of what we expect.

Saturday night Son called to say there had been a change of plans and they were arriving on Sunday night instead of Monday or Tuesday. OK. Doing the final prep for company, even family, is not my favorite way to spend my Sunday and I was glad they were coming.

I called the woman who cleans for me occasionally to tell her there would be a houseful on Monday and she said, "you want me to come today?" :D

Dean and I drove to the grocery ~ and saw the most Beautiful rainbow. :D

I had time to sit with candles lit and enjoy our lovely home and meditate in the few minutes before family arrived. :D

There were 11 at dinner so I assigned myself to the second table with 4 grandkids. The 12 year old opened the conversation by asking who are our heroes. Then he told me he thought a book we had given him several years ago was "really cool" and that everyone should have their own copy. :D The 7-year-old took his 4-year-old sister away to discuss heroes so she would understand how to answer the question. :D

What a delightful evening! The family who lives close still has school this week and will be back Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile we are getting to know our newest family member, Son's Chinese fiance'. The sun is shining. There are board games to be played, books to be read, and miracles galore swirling through the house. ~ blessings

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunshine, Blue Skies and Bear Tracks

~ and Tessie barked at the maker of those tracks much too early on a Saturday morning. Still it was nice to wake to the other two. Lovely cold day. Not much snow out there - and enough that Dean will go to the cross country center and enjoy their first grooming of the season. I will probably just walk around the back yard. I think I can just wear boots and not have to dig out the snow shoes which are still in storage. The sun may take most of it away before I finish my tea and sitting by my morning fire.

I found this quote this morning and want to share it though it has nothing to do with the above: "The great secret of a successful marriage is to treat all disasters as incidents and none of the incidents as disasters." ~ Harold Nicolson

~ blessings

Friday, November 20, 2009

Winter's here

Huge wind storm this morning. Our lake turned into an ocean with high swells and waves cresting and breaking on the shore. Surfers appeared from no where dressed in their wet suits and rode those crests. Meanwhile beach sand was blowing across the road and waves crashing against a pier sent spray all the way to the road and our car windshield. Slowly the temperature began to drop. By the time we headed home from lunch, AccuWeather's prediction was coming true - precipitation at one o'clock. No rain though. It started as snow and has stayed. Many times I couldn't see across the road in front of the house.

Dean has built a fire. I made soup for supper. It is the kind of afternoon and evening to snuggle down, read, have hot chocolate and stay home for a while. By Monday the sun is supposed to be around longer than the clouds. Welcome, winter. ~ with blessings

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Things Wear Out

Dean bought this house new in 1989 ~ 20 years ago. So, everything in the house is 20 years old, except the hot water heater that replaced the one that died last year. Four of us who live in these houses that were all built about the same time replaced our water heaters within six weeks of each other.

Now maybe I should warn the neighbors that they may need to buy a new refrigerator. :)

Research has been interesting. We are limited by dimensions and in some ways that has been good. Otherwise the options might have been too much. It was hard enough as it was. Still, the appliance has been purchased and will be delivered Monday (assuming the weather allows). Nice to have it before Thanksgiving company arrives. And then I won't have to think about it again for another 20 years! ~ with blessings

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dean!

~ first words I say this morning are "Happy Birthday."

Later I sit close on the window seat and say, "Happy Birthday" ~ and then I add, "I don't have anything for you." He smiles and says, "Oh, you have Lots for me." :D And I realize I do - and he does for me - and we give to each other every day. Many times every day. Happy Birthday.

We give because we are together. He prepares the wood for winter. I prepare the deck. We put it all back come summer. We both cook. I do laundry. He puts it away. We stop and hug in the kitchen. I have the books I love. He has the tools he loves. He skis for himself . . . and is the first to march through the deep snow to plow a lane for me to snowshoe. We are here for each other over and over again every day. Happy Birthday.

Now I will prepare breakfast and this morning, because it is his birthday, I will add grits to the plate. Later in the day we will lunch at a place of his choosing. Sometime he will check his email and find the e-card I sent him. It will make him happy. His grin is a gift to me ~ and it's not even my birthday. Mutual giving and sharing makes every day a happy birth day ~ with blessings

Monday, November 16, 2009

Preparing for Winter

Dean has split and stacked about 80% of the wood we will need for winter. He plans on spending his exercise time today and tomorrow finishing up the last 20% (these are his estimates). I have spent some time this morning clearing the deck of all but a couple of heavy umbrellas. We are lucky. We have wide overhanging eaves that allow the grill and a table and chairs to stay out of the snow and be available for winter cooking and extra additions to the house when holiday dinners grow beyond the dining table.

All of these preparations anticipate the change of seasons. The weather is still gorgeous late fall and the temperature is not rising too high during the day. Icy patches and some snow still lingered on the deck where sun had not reached. Clothes have been changed over ~ winter to the bedroom closet, summer back downstairs. We have started to layer our clothes because the mornings and evenings are cold and mid-day warms up. The cooking part of my brain is thinking Soup. This year I actually froze vegetables from the Farmers' Market for use in soups and I wonder if it is time to make that soup yet or should I wait just a little longer to make sure I have enough to last. Sun on the back of my neck as I sit here typing warms me while I make sure the doors and windows are closed against the Very Brisk breeze.

Changes are here - nothing definite yet - fall - back and forth - even earth reaches back to summer while urging us on to winter. She hasn't quite made up her mind ~ and if experience is any teacher, she will opt for winter while spring waits patiently underground. ~ with blessings

Friday, November 13, 2009

Truth in Advertising

I remember when I would be sick or have an infection and the doctor would prescribe a drug and I would take it. I got better. One of my daughters was often "one in 100,000" who had some kind of reaction - but nothing extreme. And none of us took a lot of meds. We were basically a healthy family.

Then came truth in advertising. As long as it was in print (one page of advertising, two more small print warnings in a magazine), they sort of slipped by my awareness. I wasn't taking anything that was being advertised anyway so it didn't matter.

Then came tv ads. Wow! First is the good ~ and the new med sounds like something I might want to explore if and when. And then comes the warnings: bad things that might happen if I took this particular pill. They don't say that one in 100,000 people Might have this symptom. They just say, this could happen to you and talk to your doctor about our wonderful cure for your problem. No thank you! I am grateful to be healthy and shy of meds anyway. Let's keep it that way if possible. And before I ever take anything again, I plan on reading All the small print. ~ with blessings for your good health and awareness

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Freedom to Read

On this day in 1973, school officials in Drake, North Dakota, burned copies of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaugherhouse-Five. The last sentence of the article where I found this bit of information reminded us that in the last several years, Harry Potter books have been burned by some churches. Somehow Hitler's burning books seems ancient and horrific history. These episodes seem chronologically very close.

I was raised reading. If I read something my parents wished I hadn't, we talked about it. I raised my daughters the same way. Reading is one of the characteristics of a free society. Today is also the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street which taught our children in exciting, new ways what a delight it was to learn. Interesting that these two anniversaries should fall on the same day. One trying to stamp out learning and freedom and the expansion of the mind. The other increasing learning, freedom and the expansion of the mind.

It is my (naive?) hope that we don't burn books any more - either literally or in some metaphorical way. We need to know. Then we need to talk about what we know. We need to agree and disagree and gnaw together the bone of knowledge so that every bit of learning is extracted from the marrow. Let's do that for and with our children and grandchildren and create a better world because of it ~ with blessings

Monday, November 9, 2009

40 Years of Sesame Street

Hard to believe Sesame Street is 40 years old. Except that the three year old who sat in my lap and watched the very first show is now 43 and the mother of three of my grand- children.

Back then Sesame Street had a profound impact on children's education. After a week of watching (in black and white), and listening to my 3 year old sing her alphabet and talk about numbers, I commented to my husband, "Kindergarten teachers need to watch out. Kids watching this show are going to show up already knowing what those teachers have been teaching all these years." I was right. Not only about my own child but about an entire generation (at least).

Sesame Street was cutting edge and we parents as well as our kids loved it. We sang all the songs, referenced the characters in our conversations as if they lived on our block, and continued the work/play with our kids long into the day after the show itself was over.

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street! You have helped our children and grandchildren grow and learn and know the world just a little bit better. ~ with blessings and fond memories

Friday, November 6, 2009

I love Christmas

Hmmmm - I will need to check this out. I have already posted one with this title. I wonder if it is exactly what I am about to post now? Well, let's see.

I love Christmas. All of it. The tinsel, shopping, parties; the worship, adoration and blessings: in other words Santa and Jesus. I love it All.

And not before Thanksgiving! And this year the ads, the decorations, the commercials seemed to appear even earlier - I saw the first "season" background to a product Before Halloween. *sigh*

As there is Nothing I can do about it, I will sing along and smile and make my plans for Thanksgiving ~ and the day after, play my Christmas carols for the first time. ~ blessings

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"New" Writer

Thanks to my step-son, I have "discovered" a new writer. Of course she won a Pulitzer Prize with her first book of short stories so I am not the first discoverer. Nor is she any longer "new" - just young.

Her name is Jhumpa Lahiri and I am reading her first book, "interpreter of maladies".

You learn much about the characters in the short amount of time she gives to each story. She has a way of plunging you into their lives, thoughts and experiences that have brought them to this moment in time. All is woven together in a smooth, colorful cloth of words and images that invites the reader to wrap it around for a few moments before moving on to the next story or back into the reader's life.

I recommend her highly even after only three stories. Son has read her latest book so between us we offer you the gift of her writing. Find, read and enjoy ~ blessings

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Saint

My Aunt Lalah. She taught me, gave me, the gift of hospitality. Didn't matter who you were, if you arrived at Aunt Lalah's door, you had a meal, a place to stay, a warm welcome. There was always room for one or three or 10 more at Aunt Lalah's table. I've been to dinners in her home when there were tables set in every room. We were a big family ~ and all of those might not have been related by blood or marriage.

When I was a little girl and we would visit, Aunt Lalah would have me to lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and apple sauce because a child could only take so many vegetables (the fare at her sister's house). She was the family my father took my (soon to be) step mother to meet even though she was my mother's sister.

If you were in her presence, you knew you were loved. Oh, you didn't get by with anything as a kid, and she always had a way of letting you know you were ok anyway. She was a saint of a family and of the family kitchen ~ and she loved us all and blessed us with her caring and loving presence. Thanks, Aunt Lalah. ~ with blessings

Friday, October 30, 2009

All Saints Day

As we look forward to all the little ghouls and goblins ringing our doorbells, may we also give a thought to the historical background to Halloween. All Saints Day. A day to remember those who have died and influenced our lives. Today some of us have even taken on remembering those still with us who have inspired us.

Who are the saints in your life? Who inspired you?

I am thinking about my father, a giant in his own right with wisdom and love. A woman in my childhood church: "Miss Ilene" ~ who taught love and forgiveness. And of course those saints of the world ~ Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. There are lot more on my list and for this year I will remember these amazing folks. May you enjoy your gratitude to all your saints ~ with blessings

Thursday, October 29, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I asked a question both here and on Facebook: What book started you reading, inspired you to read for the rest of your life? Between the blog and FB I received 5 answers: two from members of my family.

On the same day on FB a friend asked, What commercials are you sick and tired of and never want to see again? She received over a dozen answers.

Does this say something about our society? Maybe it was just a fluke. Maybe she has Lots more friends on FB and so our percentages were the same. Maybe we really do care more about tv than reading. At least one of her respondents suggested that they watch too much tv. I don't know. I was just fascinated that it happened. ~ blessings

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home to Cyberspace

I mentioned our dependency on cyberspace. Every home we were in had a hard time giving us their password ~ because they couldn't remember it! Every hotel charged a rather large fee for wifi ~ so we shared the wifi stick. That was a little clumsy and besides we were busy so neither of us had a lot of time to spend on line anyway. Then driving home we spent a lot of time in the desert ~ where our cells had "No Signal", spelled out just like that in case we didn't get it.

So we are glad to be home for our own bed, our own dog, our own cold tap water and . . . our own wifi. And a chance to get back to you and writing thoughts and ideas and sending them out into cyberspace. Welcome home! ~ with blessings

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travel ~ part 2

We are so dependent on cyberspace these days and to travel with no wifi or way to be in contact is really interesting. Homes we were in couldn't remember their password if they had wifi. The hotel we are in tonight charges a lot. Dean has a usb stick so he has been on working. I have spent my time talking and visiting. Finally I borrowed the stick and am on and discovering all sorts of things ~ including a daughter's blog that has brought me up to date on her life, lots of emails, and I guess I will even check in with facebook in a while.

We are a week into this travel: having been to the wedding, several meetings and are now in Tucson in a networking meeting. It has all been good. Glad I only went a week without writing. :) We had a good seminar this afternoon on using social networking in your business. I knew more than I thought ~ and learned a Lot more. It feels good to be back in touch ~ with blessings

Thursday, October 15, 2009


We are off on an adventure today. In some ways it is an ordinary trip mixing business and pleasure (a friend's wedding). In another way, the transportation creates its own adventure. We are driving and flying and driving and flying and driving some more. A mixture of strict schedules and loose and easy time on the road.
What clothes may be left in our car in order to be available for the last meeting? What clothes need to be taken the whole way - with a bit of laundry in the middle?
Business has not taken us away in a while as it used to. Pleasure hasn't either really. So ~ here we go. Packing is not as familiar nor as easy as it once was when either of us could throw things in the suitcase 15 minutes before leaving the house and everything was in order. Airports do not have their comfortable, "oh, here I am again" feel. Time to remember and get back in the routine.
We are looking forward to the trip. We will see some long time friends who have made it with us into the present so we anticipate fun catch up and move forward conversation. It will be an interesting time. Traveling blessings to us all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


House Guest had a Kindle and I asked to see it. His is the third generation that supports pdf files and allows for several more business oriented functions than I will want. It is also a little bigger than the usual one. Nevertheless, I have now held a Kindle in my hand.

As much as I love the idea of holding a book, this was intriguing and . . . possible. We are getting ready to travel and I'm thinking of those flights, carrying weight, and being able to have more than one or two books at my finger tips. I look at my library wall, full to over-flowing already, and think about having 4000 books in one tiny space always available. Hmmmm -

I am told that Apple is coming out with their version in several months and they do have a way of making things easier. Hmmmm - for now I will wait. And at least I have held one. We will see what happens ~ with blessings

Saturday, October 10, 2009

About Books ~ 2

What book are you reading now? What book lies at your hand waiting for you to pick it up, find that marked page and continue whatever fascinating journey it has for you?

Mine is a mystery by Donna Andrews, "No Nest for the Wicket". :) She writes with a delightful, punny sense of humor. Light, airy and I don't have to worry about a thing because I know in the end Meg will solve the case.

You may be reading something dark or historically or political or technical. Science fiction or science reality. Religion, philosophy or cook. The categories are many and varied and come with their own special blessings ~

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fall Kitchen Aromas

Ahh the aroma of fall. Yesterday Trinity and I picked apples off the tree in her backyard. Today I am making apple sauce from my share. The whole house has the aroma of fresh cooking apples.

The Farmers' Market this morning was rather sparse and I have frozen corn and tomatoes to use in winter soups. Of course my daughters are reading this and wondering who took over their mom's blog. :D :D

Although not the cook in the family, once in a while I channel my Aunt Lalah and homemade goodies do come forth from my kitchen. This will probably be the best apple sauce I have ever made simply because of the freshness of the apples. A friend told me I didn't have to cook corn and tomatoes to freeze them - just slice and pop in the freezer. That I can do! And the weather tells me the season for soups is close at hand. ~ with blessings

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

About Books

What book first inspired you to read?

Example: for me it was "Mary Poppins". I was already a reader. My parents saw to that. It was just something I did and did well. My third grade year in Texas was Hot. So after lunch our teacher would take us outside under a tree (no AC in the building) and read to us. One of the books she read was "Mary Poppins".

That book opened to me the magic of books. All sorts of books. If I read, I could go anywhere, be anybody, magic or historical. Stories were everywhere once I knew what a book could offer. What about you? What book opened that world to you? ~ with blessings

Monday, October 5, 2009

Everybody talks about . . .

The weather! We usually don't here in the mountains. In the summer it is warm to hot and clear, clear, clear. In the winter, once the snow falls, it is cold, ski-able and clear, clear, clear. Now it is fall -- and we have No idea what is going on.

Huge snow storm due yesterday and last night. Instead we had a couple of "showers" ~ maybe got 1 1/2 inches the second time. Most of that is gone now except in shady places. It is Cold today however. Not chilly or brisk. Cold. Dressing is weird. Bundled today. By tomorrow afternoon we may be back in short sleeves and sandals. Or not. We just have No Idea.

And so we talk, debate, check very inaccurate weather reports (the professionals don't know either), talk some more and layer, layer, layer. It won't be long though until we can go back to being the intelligent, educated adults we are with something else on our minds besides the weather. ~ blessings

Saturday, October 3, 2009

40 Years ago today - Oct. 3

Happy Birthday, dear Daughter! Born under a full moon and a snow storm as deep as she was long (19"), the babe arrived and at the end of the day, her dad wrote on the oh-so-important list "punt". :D

I only know that of the list, diapers did get washed before we came home from the hospital.

I don't often look back to the births of my daughters any more. And these decade years are important ones, both for the birthday woman and for her mother. And once again the full moon looks down and blesses the woman the babe has become and sends her on her continuing journey into a bright and blessed future. ~ with love

Friday, October 2, 2009

40 years ago today - Oct. 2

I woke with incredible energy to clean and organize. Amazing. And I did and by the end of the day the nursery was established and ready to welcome the baby. There was a list posted in the kitchen of all the things that still had to be done in the next two weeks before the arrival. If I recall correctly after all these years, I had washed little clothes but not the diapers yet. Yes, we used cloth diapers back then although disposables were just appearing. So first on the list was to wash all the diapers that had been stored for a while. Lots to do, lots to do ~

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Forty years ago today (Oct. 1)

At about 8:45 on a glorious fall day in Denver, I put my 3 1/2 year old daughter on the back of my bike and cycled her to day-care about 3 blocks away. This had a been a regular routine for a while. It only becomes notable on Oct. 1st because of the next two days. ~ until then

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Wind Blows

The wind blows.
The pines whisper of changing seasons.
The temperature suggests, ever so gently, that change is coming.
Early morning grey takes longer to turn to blue.
Clouds that yesterday were fluffy seem threatening.
Pine needles rustle to the ground whispering
"fall, fall, fall."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Family Dinner

What a Delightful evening! My half of the clan gathered in one place at one time and ate and laughed and told stories and caught up and filled the house with love and joy and Life! Both sons-in-law are chefs so we didn't just eat, we Feasted! Prime rib, veggies including fresh corn on the cob and Yorkshire pudding! Sometimes called popovers. And because one son-in-law has Canadian/British roots, we had Yorkshire pudding ~ the real thing! Oh Yum!

It was one of those family evenings that is almost out of memory even if you never had one. The kitchen was filled with people, aromas, laughter, discussion of cooking times, seasonings and preparation suggestions. Then the kitchen would be left alone and we would all be in the living room talking and sharing until the timer dinged and back to the kitchen for more culinary merriment. The table became a "groaning board" as we passed around every dish and then became Very Silent as we savored all the wonderful tastes prepared with such love and joy.

It was Wonderful. And as all wonder, mixed with a little poignancy as we may not have a chance to be all together again for quite a while. Maybe that added spice to the event. I don't know. I do know it was delightful, wonderful and will live in memory for a long, long time. ~ blessings

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Random thoughts

Writing a blog is not quite the same for me as writing in my journal although I know there are folks who use it that way. I still like the daily jottings of the journal although I haven't done it for a while. Even as I don't write for comments or for anyone who might read this, I still think I owe it to you to reflect on something a little worthwhile and not just daily ordinary stuff. Ah well ~ for now this is my journal for the day.

It's another gorgeous day in the mountains. We will be heading down the hill later to go to the Genoa Candy Dance - a Huge arts festival that covers the entire little town of Genoa. Afterwards we will have dinner at Daughter's house where my whole family will be present as the other Daughter and husband come through on their way to somewhere else. Son-in-law is preparing dinner. Apropos of yesterday's entry, three our sons-in-law also cook. And very well. Tonight's dinner should be fun.

I like seeing my friends names on my message board even though we may not be chatting. Just the name, knowing they are on their computers, is a connection.

The day is warming up - not sure when the temperature is going to drop during the day and for now the nights are chilly and the days are Very warm - almost hot for up here. Today in Genoa will be hot. Suddenly the deck is dark at 7 and I find myself ready to go to bed much earlier than I have been - not to sleep, just to be in bed, read and relax. When it stays light until 9 or after, I don't get in bed until much later - dark. I really am attuned to the light.

See what I mean? Very random and ordinary -- and with blessings

Friday, September 25, 2009

In Praise of Sons-in-Law

Between us Dean and I have 5 "children": 4 daughters and a son. They are terrific. And the daughters are all married to amazing men ~ ergo today I want to praise them and give them credit for this last week in their lives.

First and most importantly, they are wonderful fathers and uncles!

Secondly, and the reason we are raising a toast to them this morning, is that they have all come through the economic crisis steadily and strongly. This past week has seen
#1 sign a new 5-year contract at the university where he coaches
#2 sign a new contract with a brand new company (for him)
#3 sign a new contract with a new (well established) company just moving to his town
#4 sign a new contract with an international company taking him and Daughter out of the country and doing what they love best - living the gypsy life

As one of them said this week, "it is rough out there" ~ and all four have been in various stages of economic uncertainty. So we are Very Proud of all of them ~ as fathers, as providers, as men with a work ethic, and as guys who are fun to be around, talk with, and watch play with the kids in the family. Blessings to them all ~ and to you

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wall Project 2

Note the wall behind the desk - it is now blue

. . . as is the wall over the fireplace.
And note the ceiling panel as well.
Dean's idea to paint the wall - mine
to paint the ceiling panel. We make
a good team. :) ~ blessings

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Done!

The walls are done (we added two little ones). Until tomorrow morning when they are dry and all the little tiny white spots show through.

This is So Right - The whole place looks better, even the parts that haven't been painted. Very nice - pictures later when things are back in place. ~ blessings

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Wall Project 2

See the wall behind the desk? We've decided to paint that one too and I think I just may do it this weekend. We'll see.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Wall Project

The Way it Was --
The changeover takes place
The finished product - yay!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A new blue wall

We are in the midst of an "art project". We have painted an entire wall blue and are going to hang a beautiful rug as a tapestry. Great!

And to create the scaffoldings to get to the topmost corner of the wall, all the counter tops on one side of the kitchen had to be cleared. I am not putting anything back until the project is done --- and until I have had a chance to sort through everything that came off. We prefer not to use the counter tops as storage space and as life goes on that happens. So I am hoping, planning, intending that only those absolutely necessary things are returned to the at present Very Clean counter tops. I'll let you know how that turns out.

And of course I will post pictures of the new project -- it is really neat and Wonderful to have good friends helping!! ~ blessings

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Tuesday during the President's speech to school children, Go To School with your child. Listen to the speech with your child. Discuss the speech with your child. Ask what your child heard the President say ~ and listen to the answer. Tell your child what You heard the President say. Disagree or agree with the President. Either is fine. You are sharing with your child your beliefs and understandings. You are finding out what your child thinks. You are involved in your child's education. You are giving your child permission to listen, to think, to talk with you about Anything. That in itself is a Valuable education. Go for it! ~ with blessings

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Describing Biscuits

George Bernard Shaw once said something like, America and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language.

Ran smack into this one yesterday afternoon chatting with a friend in Wales. I was telling her about finding Pillsbury frozen biscuits which my cousin uses in her B&B. She swears no one can tell them from the real thing. We are close to the end of that part of the chat when my English (she only lives in Wales) friend says that her daughter who manages a Subway gives her a cookie with her salads or sandwiches so she doesn't need to make any more. . . . *ding* . . . oops, I have been talking biscuits, she has been seeing Cookies!

Ok, let's explain that I don't mean a cookie, I mean a biscuit. Yes? Except that the word biscuit means a cookie to her. Not as easy as it sounds. She really had No Idea. The more I explained, the more questions she had. I finally settled on sending a recipe last night and this morning will take pictures and send them. One day I may even have to make biscuits and send her pics of the process. Meanwhile, the next time she comes - she's been here twice - I will have to make or at least have biscuits.

Interesting process - have a great day, enjoy your weekend! ~ with blessings

Friday, September 4, 2009

Random thoughts

1) If we go on a walk and leave Tessie at home (resting her bad hips) and there is a way out of the house, she Will find it and join the walk regardless.

2) Eric, the landscaper who lives two doors down, is putting two of his men to work on some trail maintenance this morning. Hurray for Eric for thinking of it and Nachos (that's what he said, I asked twice) and Juan for doing the raking and cleaning. Since the fire clearing, the trail has not been visible and we have had to find our way again.

3) As a daughter reminds me, Always reboot your computer first when you have problem, no matter what the computer tells you.

4) Degrees of separation: a short message about health care showed up on my Face Book site yesterday - and kept showing up - and finally was there from people who could not Possibly know each other - and people from all over the country. FB has taken away Any degree of separation we might have had. Have to think about that . . .

5) There is something about September: the mornings are suddenly Really Chilly. Days warm up beautifully and still feel like summer. Early mornings bespeak of fall. Won't be long before the morning fire appears.

6) Enjoying the gathering that is -- hmmm -- gathering on the deck for Monday night picnic. Neighbors, family, friends from VA, friends from town ~ youngest will be about 2, oldest about 75. A wide variety of conversation and fun and good food.

7) Prayers: if someone says they will pray for me or my friends, I say Thank you. Even if I know they are going to pray for my "soul" or to "save me". Prayers to God (by whatever name) on my behalf will be heard and interpreted by the Deity for my best interest.

8) Morning hot tub sits are very nice -- come in from a walk, be a little sweaty, a little sore, and bask for a few minutes before the shower and moving into the busy day - Very Nice!

~ blessings

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fragility of Life

Friends' 22 year old son died of cardiac arrest this week. Twenty-two. That's not the way it is supposed to be. With blessings to all his family and friends ~

Monday, August 31, 2009

What happened to August?

The summer has sped by. We have been busy, busy. We have had meetings in Tahoe, meetings away, company, grandkids, backpacking ~ and even Cinnamon. :) Busy, busy summer.

We are looking forward to one more week of company - close friends from VA. Still, town is more empty. We had lunch at our favorite restaurant and there was room on the deck. Summer's gone. ~ blessings

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grandkids in the Kitchen

Nice when the older ones are willing to help mom coat the veggies for frying. Yum!

How does a 4-year old make tea? By opening the tea bags of course.

We had lots of fun at both kitchens: the one in the house and the one around the grill on the deck. For an only child, it is fun to have my kids, grandkids and cousins gather in my kitchen.

When is it up to them?

There comes a time, I think, when we listen with compassion and caring and then have to say, "I regret you think that and this really is your problem." *sigh*

I know that doesn't make sense out of context and ... the woman was given every opportunity that every other woman in the group was given. Her expectations were just too high and we didn't meet them. With no idea of course that we were doing something unsatisfactory in her sight. I think we do the best we can - care for each other the best we can - listen and be aware - and then we have to let it go. We are all responsible for ourselves - for speaking up for ourselves, for claiming our own power and need.

Very random ~ still thinking it through ~ with blessings

Monday, August 17, 2009

Backpacking Gratitude

So here are some things for which I am more grateful than usual:
~ indoor plumbing
~ hot water showers
~ iced tea, lemonade or water
~ cheeseburgers
~ and more especially friends who are willing to take part of my pack when I got light-headed
~ and the same friends being encouraging and hiking with me even though I was Much Slower than their hiking speed
~ and an incredibly supportive husband who kept up the encouraging words even when I was tired and hurting and finding it hard to put one foot in front of the other
~ my own spirit that kept me on the trail when I wanted to sit down and cry
~ Gorgeous scenery all around that made stopping to breathe a visual joy
~ and finally the healing of time that eases the pain and makes me claim my pride in what I did even though I still hurt from my hair follicles to my toe nails. :D

It was a grand trip - and I Did It (with a Lot of help from my friends!) :D :D :D

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Being "Un-American"

In an article published Monday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote: "Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American." Hmm - ok, the first thing I heard reported was that they had said the "protests" were un-American. There is nothing More American than protests ~ from the original Tea Party, to a chaining your own body to the White House fence while pleading for the vote, to crossing a bridge to Selma to free a still in bondage race, to walking out of classes so your class mates didn't have to walk into Vietnam. The people have power and one way we express it is to protest when we don't like what our government is doing.

"Drowning out opposing views . . ." is something else again and I still don't think it is un-American. It is Just Plain Rude!!! I have written here several times about civil discourse. Time to have some. And to have it, the upset, protesting, angry side needs to know that They Will Be Heard by the stand at the lectern with the power of the government behind them side.

We Must Listen to each other. And we must listen with the openness to actually change our minds if the other side makes sense. Are you listening, Government??? ~ blessings

Friday, August 7, 2009

Old Leaves

We all grow older - from the moment of that first bawling breath out of the womb. I, however, have reached the age where I am growing old. Doctors and chiropractors look at me with eyes that question if they should be saying this and say, "As we grow older, . . . " The dental assistant even patted my shoulder one day.

Given all of that and the fact that at 66 I am in training for my first backpack trip, I was very taken by this quote from John Burroughs on the Save the Rainforest website.

How beautiful the leaves grow old.
How full of light and color are their last days.

I am not near my last days by any means. And as my hair continues to grey and my body does its "as we grow older" thing, I want to be like the leaves. I want my last days - oh, make that my days, every day - to be full of light and color. I want to grow old beautifully ~ and let that process start today. Today for All of us, regardless of age or hair color or anything else. Live a beautiful life, full of life and color ~ blessings

Monday, August 3, 2009

Training for Backpacking

We set up the new tent - easy. It's not very big - and big enough for two of us. Then I tried on the back pack -- this morning I carried 16 lbs. I have another 10 to 15 to go. I'm doing this, folks! Have another 10 days to train so I am going to be fine. And So Obnoxious! Bear with me. Doing this for the first time in 66 years, I am going to claim my bragging rights! :D ~ blessings

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Planning to Backpack

We (yes, that includes me) are going to back pack. Never done this before. Excited ~ worried ~ looking forward to it ~ so I am "rehearsing" or in training. Walking further in the mornings. Tomorrow I start that normal morning walk with a pack on my back. Will I make it to 30 lbs before the trip itself? I don't know. Right now I haven't even had a pack that big on my back, never mind having it loaded with all I need to spend 4 nights on the trail.

The couple we are going with are very OK with my speed and my insecurities. Dee thinks I can do it or we wouldn't be doing it ~ and he has said, if I just can't, we won't. That "permission" helps me move forward. So far, I am ok. Much more positive about it than negative ~ with that energy moving up. The story continues ~ with blessings

Friday, July 24, 2009

Civil discourse

I've mentioned civil discourse before -- and questioned where it has gone. So I am asking the question again. Why can't our political pundits, commentators, and other public folks speak civilly with one another? Why can't issues rather than personalities be discussed? Why is it necessary to call people names, make slurs about their families, decry who they are? *sigh* 

Are we All so unsure of our positions, ideologies, and opinions that we can't defend them or attack the other side based solely on the issue? 

~ maybe we will return to civil discourse at some time ~ until then, blessings ~ 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Proud grandmother

We have an original Kyle McKay! Technically I am Kyle's step-grandmother. When it comes to pride in his work and art, there is no step, no barrier, no separation. I am So Proud of him. Today he brought us an original painting of Emerald Bay, his grandpa's favorite place in the whole world. We are both So Proud ~ and pleased. Grins all around ~ blessings

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We are in Carmel for a meeting. This is a beautiful place. And I Love the ocean. It is the Womb. It is home. I prefer it when the water is warm enough for a swim. And I can stand on a blustery promontory in New England and spread my wings against the wind and be happy. So - I have enjoyed walking along the beach and being. 

This morning I share the birds with you. I have named this picture "There must be fish" - :) Enjoy. ~ blessings

Friday, July 17, 2009

Customer Service

When customer service is bad, we complain! We let folks know. And in this day of Twitter and blogs and other social networks, we can spread that word Fast. 

Do we do the same with Good service. Do we even acknowledge it personally to the person who gave it? One night I was trying to make airline reservations. I found myself connected to Rita because online wasn't working for me. I knew I was going to be a pain to Rita. So I countered her already tired and just a bit surly voice with thanks, with acknowledgments of her wisdom, with my own patience and hers. Slowly I heard her voice change. We began to laugh at my absolute befuddlement of some of this process (not a straight forward round trip obviously). Finally we had the reservations and all was well. Rita asked if there was any more she could do for me - hoping I am Sure that I would say no. Instead I asked to speak to her supervisor so I might explain how professional and wonderful she had been. 

After saying I didn't have to do that and my saying I knew that, she put him on and I offered the promised kudos. Guess what I found out? The next day, Rita would have balloons and some flowers at her desk. They all worked in a big room with cubicles and so all her colleagues would know she had been praised for her good work. I felt So Good -- and all it had taken me was a few minutes more to say Thanks to the right person. And yes, back then I touted Rita and her airline (American) to lots of friends. 

None of which cost me a thing - and actually made me feel really good. Customer service works both ways and is worth it from both sides. ~ blessings

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I love this quote

E. B. White (Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web) said, "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." 

For some reason that sentiment Really appeals. I have no reflection on it. I offer it as it was offered to me, for your own reflection and gentle amusement. ~ blessings

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Grand-daughter (age 4) is playing with other kids - running, racing, playing. All of a sudden she Stops, pivots on her toes, and runs toward me. Turning back to her play mates she announces while still running, "I have to hug Mama Susan." And she does. The wonderful thing about hugs is that they are reciprocal. :D :D :D ~ hugs and blessings

Friday, July 3, 2009

Stratford anytime

When my daughters were in high school, we went to England. In the middle of the trip, we were in Stratford - and we loved it so much we stayed and extra day or two and just hung out. It was then we decided that every trip needed three days in Stratford in the middle of it. Go to China for three weeks - spend three days in the middle in Stratford. Go to NYC for a week - spend some time in Stratford in the middle of it. :) You get the idea. 

Well, today I have found another middle ground. Have lots and lots of family here for 2 weeks - in the middle they all go away for a day. One family has left. Another has gone to a friends' house to water ski. One couple will drift back in late tonight with all others returning tomorrow. And Dee and I will be Much More able to cope with their descent again because today has been Ours. We went out to lunch. We have napped. I have read and he has puttered and no one has pulled or patted or asked for our attention in any way. And tomorrow I will be Thrilled to welcome all those little hugs and big smiles for another 6 days!! ~ blessings

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Arguing for Limitations

Have you ever had a discussion with someone who will Not open to any possibilities you present? Have you ever been in a discussion when you were So Sure of your own way that you were not open to any possibilities presented to you? 

We really do have a way of arguing for our limitations. "I have tried it and it didn't work." "All my research shows otherwise." "I'm worried I won't . . . (so worried that I won't even consider another way)." And on and on. We've all done it. 

Allowing ourselves to be open to a different perspective, another possibility, is so freeing. We may be right -- the other way may not work. And we will never know unless we try or look or research or ask the right people. Let's not waste valuable, creative time arguing for our limitations. Let's soar. ~ blessings

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Hurray! ~ for a 16-year-old grandson who is willing to come to his grandmother's home and power wash rugs on the deck - then power wash the deck - then oil the deck - and in between do whatever it occurs to one of the grands to ask him to do. Is he getting paid? Yes. Is he a Huge help? Yes! Is he worth the money? Absolutely!! And he is fun to have around because he is a great kid, a good conversationalist and interested in all sorts of things. And . . . he helps in the kitchen and if he wants something to eat between meals (he is after all 16), he can get it himself. Thank you, daughter, for raising such a terrific human being! :) ~ blessings

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Planning for family

Looking forward to having 7 to 9 of our 10 grandkids with us for the week before the 4th and through. Just have to think about all those mouths to feed, and what to feed them. I always liked going to my grandmother's (Mama Dear) and part of that was the food we ate. So I would like for our grands to enjoy the food we have here too. I recently heard about a grandmother who feeds only popcorn and popcicles - which sounds fine for 3 days. For a week or more with their parents in residence as well, I think I need to think some more. :) :) ~ blessings

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

To all those men who choose to be fathers - to take on that responsibility - those joys, frustrations, fun and befuddlement - this day is for you! 

Maybe you have chosen the biological route to fatherhood and take that seriously. Maybe you have chosen to be a Big Brother - a Scout master - a teacher of science or math or fencing to a bunch of teenagers; maybe you toss the ball with the kid down the street whose father was killed in Iraq - or just isn't around - or abused him and had to leave; maybe you sponsor the youth group in your church. Whatever ever your chosen role as "father", today is your day ~ and all of us who have experienced someone one like you in our lives are Very Grateful for your participation in the lives of others. 

Yesterday I went to a 7-year-old birthday party and watched two dads and an uncle be absolutely and totally present to the next generation. Dads by any title are Great! Enjoy your day! ~ with blessings

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Following the Mountain Man

I named Dee my Mountain Man when we were still dating. We were walking along a nice trail when he says, "let's go this way." And off we went, into the woods and meadows until we found another trail. I thought I might be falling in love and realized that love includes trust and so I would trust that we would find that trail. And we did. 

This morning there are signs on our usual morning walk trail: "Forestry Operations: Do Not Enter". Oops - we had waved at the forestry guy yesterday and this morning the signs were up. Stay out. Ignoring them on the way out, on the way back, the Mountain Man suggests we take an alternative route in order to be in compliance. And off we went: down into the woods, across the fallen tree trunks, over the rocks, down the dry gully, through the bushes, back up the hill ~ and all the time Tessie and I following and trusting. Sure enough he points: that clearing is our trail. I can't even See the clearing, much less distinguish there is a trail. And there is it - with familiar landmarks and clearing. Our trail - not far from the house. We are home and in compliance having made our way around the signs. Even the morning walk can turn into an adventure! ~ blessings

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Reminder we All Need

The wind of divine grace is always blowing. 
You just need to spread your sail. 
                                                                    ~ Swami Vivekananda

Do I need to say anything about this - or can we just spread our sails and claim the blessing of this particular wind ~ blessings 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Taking the Good Advice

When I don't try to do everything, I am able to move through busy-ness with grace and ease. We were up early. Went to a buffet breakfast meeting. Then, instead of going into the meeting Dee was in, I sat in the lounge of the Resort, looked out on the mountains, had my meditation time, read, talked to my daughter, sat. We came home. The guys helped clean the deck and then went for a walk. I have stayed here - doing a little food prep for later when the rest of the committee arrives to visit, meet and have 'lupper' about 3:30. I told the walkers that when they returned there would be guacamole, iced tea and beer. Grace and ease ~ and blessings

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good Advice

Slow Down - there is more to life than
increasing its speed.
                                                                      ~ Mohandas Gandhi

A rainy Saturday morning. Dee is soon off to an all day meeting, breakfast through dinner. I am not going this year. I am going to sit. Enjoy the fire. Enjoy a mystery story or two. Take my moment in this crazy week to be gentle with myself and . . . slow 
~ blessings

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Do things go?

You hear this a lot from me. The cellphone was down in the cushions of the window seat. The black shirt was hung on a tree stump, located and is back in the closet having been washed. Now Where are the culottes?? 

They were bought last summer. Saved to wear in Texas in February - except we didn't go to TX, we went to Portland. I have been wearing the shirt I bought to go with them with longer pants. So where are the culottes now that it is summer again and I am ready to wear them. I took a step closer to the solution this morning when I searched the top shelf of the closet, found a bag with a brand new sweater in it that had obviously been bought at the same time to go with the culottes. No culottes - but at least a new summer sweater that will go nicely with a couple of pairs of pants I have. 

When I get like this, I always think about all the Real problems in the world and wonder Why I am so pouty about a pair of culottes. *sigh* ~ I just am ~ with blessings

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cozy Spots

We are a family of three: 2 adult humans, 1 adult dog. We each have our cozy spots. 

Dee sits in the corner of the window seat.
I sit in a chair by the fire.
Tessie curls up on a pillow in the corner by the window seat or between the coffee table and the window seat. 

Even though it is grey, damp and chilly outside, inside it is very cozy. ~ blessings

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Where's my black shirt?

Been wondering where my black shirt is for a few days. Couldn't find it over the weekend. Wasn't in the laundry Monday. ????

Last night I am Just falling asleep when my eyes pop open with the little adrenalin surge of thought: it is hanging over a tree stump about a third of the way up the trail when it was too warm to wear on Friday morning. I even said "do you think we will remember this is here?" I was very slow that morning. Tessie and I came back way behind Dee who had a conference call. There was a very noisy truck in the woods and Tessie was edgy. I had my mind on other things. And so through Lots of rain, my shirt has hung on the tree stump. Will I remember it is there when we walk this morning? ~ blessings

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Proud grandmother

What a fun day! Yesterday I had a massage from my amazing massage therapist daughter ~ 
~ watched my granddaughter - age 4 - climb a tree as far as the tree would allow ~ 
~ watched my grandson - age almost 7 ~ play, explore and sit very still in a theatre audience
~ watched my grandson - age 16 ~ give an improvised (in the sense he didn't know he would be doing it) Renaissance fencing lesson to an audience twiddling their thumbs while a cast member's accident was treated. What Grandson didn't know was that his fencing coach was in the audience. Both coach and the Grandmother were Very, Very proud. It was really a neat thing to have happened too - because when we saw the sword fights in the play, we understood a bit more of what went into them. The young woman who was hurt did well too - if we hadn't known the accident happened to her, we would never have known which actor was hurt. I drove home to another amazing Tahoe sunset -- and a gorgeous rainbow. Forgive me for no pictures of those phenomena. I wanted to be home before dark - blessings

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sonia Sotomayor

By now you have all read it: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." (Sonia Sotomayor, in a speech seven years ago)

This one sentence has raised the ire of white males from all walks of life - not just congressmen. I realize we are talking about interpreting the law - at least I guess we are. No one bothers to share the whole, in-context speech she made. I will have to find that for myself. And - if I were to tell you that my husband makes a better decision than I do about where and what friends coming to visit might see because he has visited and lived here years longer than I have - you would agree it was nice to have his experience to draw on. 

I am a 66 year old white woman whose father told her when she was 13 that "the law was no place for a woman." By the time I was in my early 20s, he had women lawyers in his firm and was telling me I could be the first female president of the US if I so wanted. The idea that a woman just might be able to bring knowledge and experience to an important job like interpreting the law is a relatively new one. 

Only in the hallowed halls of Congress when voting for a new Justice is it assumed that a person needs to be so neutral that he or she will interpret the law without any reference to how they feel, what they know from experience or have witnessed for themselves. I imagine that once in a while, they do look at the law and choose to interpret it beyond their own personal feelings. Remember "separate but equal"? Some Justices looked at that and at the Constitution and realized "separate but equal" was not constitutional. Was that a neutral opinion? Or did they draw on their experiences as they thought through this momentous decision? 

I have no idea if Sonia Sotomayor has what it takes to be a good Justice or not. She needs to be vetted. She needs to be questioned. And Surely we can find questions to ask and issues to probe beyond One Sentence in a speech made Seven Years Ago. Please, I will Never be judged by anyone for one sentence I said in 66 years of life ~ and nor I hope will you ~ blessings