Saturday, February 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo was born in 1802. Something he said is so very appropriate to our world situation today:

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world:
and that is an idea whose time has come.

One can resist the invasion of an army
but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.

Today in the Middle East, the idea of Freedom and Democracy has taken hold. No army, no imported mercenaries, no dictator is able to stand before the invasion of those ideas that are sweeping through the land. It is an idea whose time has come.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Haute Cuisine

Today is grand-daughter Trinity's sixth birthday. Tradition in our family (as in many, many others, I am sure) is that the birthday celebrant gets to pick dinner. And so Trinity has chosen.

Baby carrots
Tiny tomatoes
(and as a total after thought - Steak)

If I could get down the mountain (which I can't because of the blizzard) I would attend that birthday dinner and love Every bite.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

There Was The Moon

Last Tuesday night about 8 o'clock, the clouds pulled a curtain across the clear sky and began to pour snow upon our land. And it snowed . . . and it snowed . . . and it snowed.

And then about 3:15 this morning I woke to an interesting sensation: There was light. My little square of sky showed me a wafting black cloud moving out of picture. I went to the window and there, still hanging high in the western sky was the full moon. The clouds moved away from it like the curtains opening to reveal the Diva bathed in a spot light.

I crossed to the back doors to witness that age old phenomenon:
The moon, on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave a luster of midday to objects below.
(The Night Before Christmas)
For a brief moment I witnessed the luster of midday. The yard sparkled like it was scattered with diamonds. It was glorious. Returning to bed, I realized Dean was awake so I whispered into the dark, "The snow has stopped. The moon is out."

By then the Diva had taken her bow, assured us of her continuing performance, and the cloud curtains closed in front of her and within the hour snow was falling again. We woke to a light grey morning and a little more snow. The clouds are moving though and bits of blue peek through. The storm abates. The Sun is due for a return performance tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Snow Continues

This picture is taken from the same place looking in the same direction as the middle picture of the previous blog. Note where the snow line is in the two pictures. Now note that by the time I am posting this, the snow line is even higher. Amazing. Truthfully, I have never experienced anything like it - 48 hours (or more depending on what keeps coming) of continuous snow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Snow Arrived

This huge storm has been predicted for days - supposed to arrive tonight, then it sort of came on Monday, then due to really get here on Tuesday. And sure enough on Tuesday the winds started ~ a precursor up here of a definite change in the weather. After six weeks of glorious sunshine, the mountains and the ski slopes were ready for a change and more snow.

Tuesday: winds, all day. If you were out when they blew across you, it was Cold. If they weren't blowing and you were in the sun, it was warm in the upper 40s. But no snow. All the weather sites were way behind reality. Eleven am ~ supposed to be cloudy and snow; reality was bright sunshine and wind. Three pm ~ supposed to be raining; reality was bright sunshine and wind. The wind was fierce. Sixty to 100 mph over the passes that surround us. Have no idea what it was here at the house and things banged around some and at least one large limb fell from a tree in the back yard.

Finally at around 8 pm the predicted snow arrived. And it really arrived. It seemed that at 8:01 it wasn't snowing and at 8:02 we couldn't see the parking lot and the wind was slamming snow against the house. It was horizontal and hard. And it stayed that way all night.

The winds usually settle once the storm arrives and I guess they have a little. Once in a while though the snow whips to the left, turns and whips to the right, makes a slow curve and settles on coming down straight for a while. This is one of those days that I am glad Dean's office is in the house and neither of us has any where we Have to go - or be there for other people to come to us. Glad we went to the grocery store yesterday - not to "stock up" just to get some butter and lettuce and a few ordinary things we were low on. Now we have them though and can settle in for a while.

When the roads are clear and things settle down a bit on Friday the Powder Hounds will make it up the mountain to the ski slopes. Lovely. Snowshoeing out our back door will be delightful. In the meantime, a fire, hot tea or cocoa, a good book, some office work, yoga for exercise and sometimes just watching the amazing fluttering, flying landscape. ~ winter blessings

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Huggable Moments

Valentine's card from me to Dean: Snoopy standing there with a heart. Inside: I am just a hug waiting to happen.

This morning Dean walks toward me to pick up his computer. We hug. We then go our own ways.

I am standing on the deck in a crowd of people. Granddaughter, then age 4, breaks from a crowd of playing kids, races toward me while calling over her shoulder, "I'll be back. I have to hug Mama Susan." Which she does in one great rush and then she is off to play again.

Young mother who cleans house for me is building her own business. We talk while we work. She talks about her daughter, her dreams for her business. When she leaves, I pay her ~ and we hug. We like each other and it has been a good day.

I Like being a hug waiting to happen. To greet the world with open arms - even symbolically - makes for a Very Nice day ~ with hugs and blessings to you all

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tasty Tidbit

I think I have written about this before and I guess it doesn't matter because I want to do it again.

Made a big pot of chicken soup. It was good ~ and . . . it needed something. Called daughter who is a really good cook and asked what I might add. A tablespoon of bar-b-cue sauce. What??? Just do it, mom. So I did and it was Exactly what the soup needed. A tablespoon in a big pot of soup is just right. No bar-b-cue flavor, just a heightening of the flavor that is already there.

Well, that's our secret ingredient now. A tablespoon to a big pot of soup. A teaspoon to a smaller amount. A couple of drops if I want to do something nice for my personal bowl. We even added some to chili the other night when it just needed a little something. There is something about all the ingredients in bar-b-cue sauce that help boost flavors. And you don't have to add a dab of this and a dab of that and a dash of something else and then worry because you don't have a pinch of the other. Enjoy your cooking ~ with blessings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Time and My Use Thereof

How often have I said or thought, "I really don't have time to do that right now."

And yet time is a very interesting concept. I put my tea in the microwave and press two minutes.
In two minutes I can empty the dishwasher without rushing.

I press 30 seconds to reheat something ~ and have time to walk around the counter, open a drawer and take out a spoon, close the drawer and walk back around the counter to await the pinging of the microwave.

I dread spending all that time doing something in the office. So I gear myself up, take a dvd with me, plan on spending the Whole morning ~ and in an hour the job is done and the dvd still has another hour to go.

Very interesting how the actual time and the time in our heads can be Very different.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Little Square of Sky

Across one wall in our bedroom are three windows. Because the ceiling is high, above the center window is a little window - about 2 ft. square. During the day, I rarely notice it. At night ~ ah, at night it becomes magic.

Lying in bed, I am at a perfect angle to look out that window onto the night sky and the pattern of stars that twinkle out there. Before midnight there is a triangle of stars that perfectly define three of the corners of the window. Later other patterns appear - not quite as defined. When the moon is full, the sky is clear and only the brightest star makes it into the little picture.

If I am looking as I doze off ~ or lying there contemplating because I can't doze off ~ I am happy with the stars outside my window. I love my little square of sky.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mom's Birth Day

When I wished my daughter a happy birthday, a FB friend wished me a happy birth day. This morning Dean's son sent him a sweet email on the son's birthday saying he was thinking of his mom and dad and wondering what it was like in the delivery room back then . . . and thanking Dean for being a good dad.

I love my birthday and being greeted with all those lovely wishes and even feted on occasion. And I have to admit I didn't often think of my mom on "my" day. I thought of her on her birthday. I still do. But not necessarily on mine.

And yet she and we are there ~ always there ~ just by the fact of the person in the world and having a birthday. And whether the child of whatever age thinks of mom or not, mom thinks of the child. Mom worked hard on your birth day. It was a birth day for her as well. I think it is lovely when children become old enough to be aware of that. ~ blessings

Monday, February 7, 2011

It is All Personal

Sometimes the news is overwhelming. We have a 24/7 news cycle. We have tv, internet, twitter ~ a thousand and one ways of hearing, learning and if we let ourselves, being overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems of the world. And then we hear of some small personal tragedy and realize that it is all personal.

Yesterday a young man (25 years old) in Carson City, NV where my daughter and family live, hung himself in a public park.

Those are all the facts I know at this time. It is not an event that will set off a revolution or cause governments to crumble. It is an event that will touch the heart of a mother, a family, and even a community as people ask why? What might we have done? What can we learn from this so that our children and young people remain safe?

One small tragedy. One small tragedy occurring all over this country and the world over and over again. Suicide, accident, illness ~ lives taken much, much too soon, before the potential for life is able to be played out in its fullness.

~ with blessings and hope for every child

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl Monday

I have written about this before ~ and it is important enough to be reminded again.

Tomorrow is the playing of the Super Bowl. Most people will have parties, watch the game, laugh and yell and enjoy the time. Some people will drink too much, bet more money than they can afford to lose and this year may be angry because the weather ruined their plans.

And they will take their anger out on their wives, children and sweethearts.

Causing Super Bowl Monday to be the most active day in the year for domestic violence shelters.

That is NOT a statistic to brag about. As you celebrate and have fun, please, remember those who will have to go to the shelters for comfort and safety. Pray for them and their abusers. ~ with blessings as you have a wonderful Super Bowl weekend!

Super Bowl Monday

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Don't Know . . .

A wonderful, wandering, nomadic friend says, "What do you want to do now? What are your dreams? I can't believe you are finished with your spiritual journey."

Well, of course not -- and . . . I know what it isn't. I know that I am not yet ready to go back to a regular Sunday morning liturgy. That's negative. What Do I want?

What came immediately to mind were the times I have prayed or meditated at a distance with some group or person. Last Maundy Thursday I prayed with my church in VA during their prayer vigil. Often I light a candle and pray for a particular friend during a difficult time. Is there something like that that I might make a regular part of my life?

My friend spoke of his possibility of a house church and I thought immediately of the Quakers. I have never been to a Quaker meeting and I am very taken with idea of sitting in silence until the Spirit moves you to speak. Whether they still do it that way or not I don't know.

In a national denominational meeting several years ago, I offered to lead the committee's morning prayers and to hold the sacred space for the group. That worked - it was lovely. I like holding sacred space. Is there something . . . ?

Wherever this evolving journey leads, it will certainly include silent prayer and meditation. I am convinced of the power and grace in that experience. ~ with blessings on your own journey