Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Blessed Easter

A blessed day to you all ~ be this an Easter celebration for you or the spring celebration of the vernal equinox or a mixture of both. Today is a different Easter for me because I will be traveling. Due to weather tomorrow, I am heading home today. I will attend an egg hunt next door and then head out. In the meantime I am having some gentle celebrations with the family 

Easter baskets of course. 

Trinity using her birthday mortar and pestle to grind herbs for the ham.
In this case, rosemary and mint. Lovely.

A blessed day, dear friends.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ashland Walks

Our regular morning walk takes us around the elementary school and up the hill next to a pasture. As you can see, it is a real pasture and the horses in it are friendly. 

The grass may not be greener but it is tastier from the other side of the fence. 

They fed the other one - come on now, you have to feed me.

Ahhhh - good green grass. 

Yesterday afternoon found us at Science Works where there are lots of interactive exhibits - just not many which allow for pictures. Mostly adults just watch with fascination while the kids play. They did build an arch however - and although it fits and doesn't need holding up, my grands are a little tall for that part of the experiment now. 

This morning's walk was of a totally different nature and it was the humans that were fed rather than the horses. The walk was terrific, into town to Puck's Donuts. The food was delicious and oh the sugar! Oh well - about three weeks ago I had announced to Dean, "I want a donut!" Today I got my wish!! Thank goodness we walked!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Ashland Fun

It was great to have Joshua with us all day today. He had the day off from work and is also on spring break.

Joshua teaches Tai Chi and is starting to help Trinity learn some basics. 

Trinity made a fleece throw for me. It is so snuggly and warm. I'm enjoying it now and will love having it at home. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spring Break in Ashland

In Ashland for spring break with the family. Of course even during spring break daily chores have to be done. Akira's job is to unload the dishwasher.

Weekly shopping started with a trip to the mall where a ride around on a friendly panda is always fun.

Trinity's Wall: her art work hangs in a place of honor
While I am posting this, the rain is pelting down so once again we are hanging at home ~ with laundry going, video games being played, good conversation and books being read. All in all, a gentle ordinary time with the family. I am loving it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Playing with Color 2

My last post was about coloring mandalas. Although no one is using the same book I am, I had several delightful conversation comments with friends who are also coloring: what it means to them, how and when they color. Fun. 

This is the story of two of mine that I have enjoyed. 

This one is Incan Sunburst. I names it and colored it early on in my coloring career. Right across the page was another mandala almost but not quite the same pattern. To see the differences, you had to look very, very carefully. I had not yet colored that one because I was worried I would simply copy Incan Sunburst which was not creative or even fun. Finally I have colored it and I am pleased. 
This is Wind and Water and colored in a entirely different palate ~ plus I covered the Sunburst so I couldn't be tempted to play with different colors in a similar way. What you can't see in the picture is that now I have a blue and silver that sparkle so there are several places where, in the correct light, sunlight sparkles on the waves.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Playing with Color

Back in June I posted about my exciting discovery of a mandala coloring book ~ only to discover I am not in the least unique and had somehow without realizing it tapped into the latest fad, adult coloring books. Ah well - I am still enjoying it. 

What I have started to wonder is: if you are coloring the same mandala, what colors would you choose? Would our mandalas look at all the same or totally different or sort of the same?

This is the book I am using right now and if you just happen to be coloring under the same title, I would love to share our work ~ not to compete, just to discuss why you chose red when I chose blue or what you were thinking when you colored this particular one. Sometimes I just color and other times I have a fascinating time choosing colors and noticing patterns. Did you see the same pattern I did? Did the mandala speak to you in any way? 

Those are my thoughts for today as I finished the one at the top of the page. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A PS to the Super Tuesday Story

Given the whole context of the last two blogs, I want to add something. When the new citizens from Africa came in, had their questions answered, and David handed them their ballots, the husband said, "She is blind. She cannot vote." He was just resigned. She was after all "less than" - and therefore had to be mentally deficient. Or maybe their voting places in their home country just weren't prepared. Whatever the reason, neither were expecting her to be able to vote. When Meredith said, "of course you can vote", the big smiles began.

That is the opportunity this country gives those who come to our shores wanting a better life. A chance to vote, a chance to participate, a chance to be a whole person even if there is a disability. And that, my friends, is my political statement for the day!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Super Tuesday Story

It is 30 seconds before the polls are to close. Meredith goes outside to see if there are any stragglers who need to come in. There is one couple. They are new US citizens from a war-torn African country. They know it is important that they vote. They want to vote. And they are not sure for what they are voting. Meredith says, “I need you both inside that door right now.” They go while the clerk is calling “30 seconds - we have 30 seconds”. Meredith, walking behind them, waves to the policeman to let them in. They walk through the door and the officer closes it behind them, takes down the “vote here” sign and locks the door. Meredith sits them down and explains she now has time to answer their questions.

She explains that this the election where they vote on who they will vote for in November. All is well and David hands them their ballots. Only then do they realize that the woman is blind and cannot see the ballot. Meredith sends the man with his ballot to the voting booth. She calls over the officer as a representative of the law and another clerk to witness. She tells the woman that there is a law officer standing there to witness that Meredith is marking the ballot as the woman says. She read the ballot to the woman, the woman told her whom to mark and Meredith said to the officer, “Do you witness that I am marking this ballot for __________.” He replied, “I witness that you are marking this ballot for ___________.” Both husband and wife were beaming. Not only had they mattered, their vote had mattered and had been taken seriously in their new country. Meredith and I both agree that it is for stories like these that the poll watchers are there. We were given a Constitutional right to a free and honest election and there are people who care enough about that process that they give a day to lay aside their politics to make sure we all - old citizens, new citizens, all races and genders - all of us, get to mark our ballots or pull the levers for the candidate of our choice. 

Meredith and David have already requested to stay on the list of workers. Blessings to them and all those who spend election days this way. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Unsung Heroes of Today

Super Tuesday and today I want to honor the unsung heroes and heroines of every election day: the folks who work the polls. I’ve been voting since I was 21 (see how old I am - no 18 year old votes back then) and so of course I have been aware of poll workers. In Virginia one of our good friends was always there, walking around, willing to help, being called on for various reasons. There have always been the folks behind the desk, finding our names in the huge alphabetical lists they had before them. But truthfully, I never gave them much thought. Until today. 

Today daughter Meredith and son-in-law David are working a polling place in Massachusetts. Here are some things I have learned about poll workers as Meredith and David have prepared to do this job. The titles are Massachusetts’ titles. They may be different in your state. 

The team consists of a Warden, the one in charge, who answers questions, deals with issues that may arise and finally stays at the delivery site until the precinct’s ballads have been counted. Meredith has this job. 

David is an Inspector, one of four who find your name on the registrations lists, check you off and send you to the person handing you your ballot (or to the voting machine). Unless of course there is something odd or wrong about the registration list. Then the Inspector sends you to the Warden to work out whatever the issue. 

The final member of the team is a Policeman who, although there to keep the peace and bring the force of law to the process, has the main task of delivering the ballots to the counting place. Except for those that might have had an issue. The Warden delivers those. 

This team arrives at the polling place two hours before the polls open. This may not be official policy and this morning at least one polling team in Massachusetts were gifted with Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and donuts by the Warden and one of their Inspectors. The Warden stays with the ballots until they have been counted. If it is a light turnout, the process will probably be over by midnight. That makes a long day for these folks who care enough about our open, free election process that they are willing to put aside their own political convictions for the day and make sure that everyone gets their Constitutional right to vote. I’m so proud of Meredith and David for doing this. And to all of you who I passed by so quickly over the years, Thank You! You are true Patriots in the best sense of that word.