The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Liquid coffee mate is 10 calories a tablespoon. I'm changing horses tomorrow. Yes, this is a big freaking deal to me ... because when I quit smoking so so so many years ago, I told myself that that was the only thing I would ever make myself stop doing. There was some propaganda about if you are this age and you stop this foolishness today you will add this many (and it was a lot) years to your life. I did the math. And I thought nobody in their right mind would want to ever be a day older then that ... so ... I'll stop this, but that's it. Then that Fat Farm guy came down for a Flight Review and an IPC and mostly to hang out with some of his buddies ... and he casually mentioned that women my age average a seven pound weight gain per year for the rest of their lives. I think I picked up twenty years when I quit smoking ... that's like 140 pounds ... that's not extended longevity, that's another whole earth suit! I think I see that seven pounds in my coffee up. 85 calories is a significant percentage of any appropriate daily caloric intake. Well ... enough of that. I'm going to start getting used to it tomorrow. If I can't or won't I'll switch to green tea. I don't expect that to taste like a wake up smile.
Ceilings OVC016 a l l along my intended route of flight today. I'm not instrument current ... and, I wasn't itching to fly single pilot IFR any way. Well, maybe I kinda am ... or maybe it's just a rash. I'm not legal this morning anyway so ... approaches and holding on my short term to do list. Ugh ... That's the problem with pretty good weather, you lose currency. Most approaches end up being visual anyway ... at least during the day! I was already not thrilled with flying it at 3500MSL. It's just not much altitude in my pocket just in case.. Tomorrow promises to be a lot nicer. Weather does not always play well with others though ... we shall see. Bag waiting by front door. I woke up ... no, that's not true, I got up and made coffee earlier then usual ... still dark when I got out of the shower and headed to my closet. Accidentally pulled "skinny jeans" from hanger. Good news ... They zip! Yes, with me in them. Bad news ... They are tight. I decided to keep them on though, they will remind me not to grab something from a vending machine for lunch. My coffee is 85 calories a pop. Bummer. I really like coffee and even more so when the weather gets cooler.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Looks like the flight will be a go for tomorrow and good company is a part of good planning I think ... Did I mention that guy at the airport who introduced himself and immediately began doing everything he could to help us out with our little operation? He's retired airlines and has recently sold his toy plane ... in other words, I figured he was itching to get back up in the air (and he confirmed that). No ... He'd love to but he's got a medical visit to go to tomorrow with his adult son. We talked about that because one of my buddies has just recently successfully navigated the very same problem. Maybe it was a relief to talk about it with someone knowledgable, but not personally involved. He switched topics saying he's gonna keep things in perspective ... and that he's pleased that I thought of him and insists on a raincheck. He also tells me that they owned a Cherokee 140 a while back and that the ride in the back seat sucks (that's the ride home) but he would still go if he coulda gotten away. Frankly, he's been a huge help, but I thought of him because one he's a hoot and two, he knows stuff that I don't know ... he's probably forgotten more then I'll ever know. Flying has been his life.

I'm out running errands and he calls back. He says "Speaking of perspective ... " and goes on to tell me some of the details about that crash in Arizona on Thanksgiving day. I told him I figured the kids were with their dad for "his" holiday ... and that there was a mother whose very world had ended during that moment too. I saw the video and it made me sick ... because I know what happens to people who love those who are now irrevocably ... gone. The very fact that there is video floating around is ... I don't have the words for it. Eventually the NTSB will issue a report ... among other things it will say 6 fatalities. Won't mention that a mother started dying too ... her babies are gone. Their dad was a Captain with one of the major airlines ... she is a Flight Attendant ... the other men on board ... the emotional and spiritual wreckage from this ... there are no words. Every single person who has heard of this terrible tragedy has to pray ... pray for those left in the wreckage. Pray for that little mother.
Pray that their community will somehow know some way to help her.

Ramblings on "choice"

~ found Photo (idk)
I was thirteen, sitting in a booth for four at a pizza hut in Houston, Texas with one of my Dad's brothers. By then I had learned to say which ever of my uncles I am sitting nearest to is my favorite ... Daddy had six brothers, and I enjoyed spending as much time as possible with any one of them. This particular uncle was so incorrigible that he could even get my mother to loosen up occasionally ... that didn't endear him to her though.
Looking back on the dinner conversation, I can see the context that eluded the younger me. He talked while the candle flickered and his pizza congealed. Always remember this he said, " Each one of us comes in to this life with a ring of keys. Some people have many keys, some people have a few ... some people prefer to "pick" locks. Don't be a lock picker," he said looking up. I think he was trying to make sure that I understood that lock picking was dishonest. "Use your keys, but use them judiciously, some keys may only be used once. Some keys fit only one particular lock, don't force a key ... don't force a lock. You're not going to know which keys will forfeit from your ring once tried, so take care with them." By then I'm sure I was wondering what specifically prompted this little talk. It was as though my uncles could read my mind, and I wondered if he was somehow aware of some recent mischief making on my part. I held eye contact with him while I searched for a guilty spot in my conscience. He must have taken my look of innocence for deep thought ... but rather then thinking about what he was saying, I was trying to figure out why he was saying it. There was no way he coulda known about me skipping school to go swimming in the Falls ... "Okay, I'll remember" I said flashing a big smile. He signaled the waitress to refill my Coke, but he wasn't finished with his story. "Some of your keys will reward careful choice by multiplying. By that I mean, you open a locked door to find another key, or several keys, in that place. But sometimes, you arrive at a door only to find that you have squandered the key elsewhere. Be mindful with your keys little sister. You seem to be starting out with a full ring, but you've got a long ways to go." I liked the analogy. I thought, even back then it was an interesting take on things. I thought he was talking about me, but looking back I realized that he was sharing some private pain. That night we were waiting at Pizza Hut for his fiancé, I was meeting her for the first time. He had divorced his first wife who was special to me ... I still keep up with her now nearly forty years later ... she attended his funeral several years ago. I grew to love this woman I met that evening too, many times over the years I thought he was so very fortunate to have won the heart of not one, but two exceptional women. I loved him, but I could see why my momma did not.
Choices. From here I can see his regret and his relief.

Proverbs 20:24 (NIV)
A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Barnes' commentary:
The order of a man's life is a mystery even to himself. He knows not where he is going, or for what God is educating him.

How about this? Jeremiah 10:23 I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

... Out of time for now. It's good to have choices, and we all do. I think where the lock/key thing gets messed up, is where a choice is made purely on impulse, equally where it's made purely by "rational" choice. I like what I have read recently in DAWN ...about those people who have helped shape us, and I would take it further to include those without faces whose work we've seen or heard or read; our experiences. I've said my choices make choices. Way leads on to way. I think maybe the soul has many folds just like the brain.

Snow is forecast for today ... My little flight is probably on for tomorrow. I have a few things to do before I spend a day away ... So, I better get going ... after I read this backwards. One of my favorite teachers taught me to proof myself by reading things backwards. It works good with life too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sometimes it feels like it's raining all over the world. Well, it didn't freeze today, but the wind blew. The warrior stayed in its hanger with the plan that I'll fly it down on Tuesday. FA indicates SN in Mississippi ... what ever that is will be moving this way and I am just a bit surprised. Flurries are rare here. The person I am loosely partnering with for this little operation is off to guard duty and really hopes I can position the plane for a flight home. My husband is annoyed at the time I spend on flying ... it just doesn't pay well at all. That sort of thing. I am not troubled by any of it. I need to do what I can to keep my ticket viable for whatever comes next. Commercial pilots need to fly ... every opportunity for employment looks at how many hours you've flown ... recently. Plus, i need those 25 hours if Im going to instruct in it. This isn't the best job in the world, but it allows me to meet my commitments and to be home lots more than not. I told my husband that I would hold on to this with my bare teeth if I had to.

Sermon today on Believing the Unbelievable ... From Luke when the Angel told Mary about Jesus. I believe I would be somewhat troubled if an angel were to suddenly appear. it's kind of fun to imagine what an angel appearing would really be like. The pastor told the story of a physics experiment where a pendulum was set in motion and the audience agreed that in fact the arc would be ever decreasing ... Reason and faith. Then someone was asked to sit and the swing away would begin a mere inch from their nose ... Would faith hold them in their seat as the pendulum began swinging back? My C said that demonstration is all over you-tube ... kids! They really do seem to know everything these days, lol. He also told a story of a water pump in the dessert which would need to be primed ... I'll look that up tomorrow. The point was that reading the scriptures primes our faith ... maybe we don't "feel" it, but it is hydrating our souls none the less. We ended up not visiting with the Pentecostals today ... They meet an hour earlier then we expected, so everyone was running late even before they started running. We visited the Baptist church where we usually attend. The guest speaker today is one of my favorite preachers. I was glad to hear the message. Believing the unbelievable. I think that is one of the coolest things about being older ... You've lived long enough to see some stuff. You've lived long enough to believe that God can do whatever he wants. I'll try to make the notes tomorrow. I'd like to keep track and see if there is a pattern being woven ... The previous post has notes about the reasoning of man and the ineffable more. Basically what this guy was talking about and ... Bonhoeffer all about everyone has faith and maybe it takes an extra scoop of faith to not believe in God. We all believe something. We all have faith in something. Preacher today said archeologists shifting through our stuff will think scientists were our priests.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"... lying in the mud looking at the stars..."

(neutrinos y/n? ~ wired science)

”We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve” -Albert Einstein

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” ~ Galileo Galilei

“I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.” ~ Jacques Benigne Bossuel

And these from Mr. Van der Leun ...
"And I am moved by the poetry of this most modern of images, not by the triumph of Reason which it seems to enshrine, but by that which is beyond Reason yet within it all the same.". ... an image with out even "the" image.

"Our Here. Our Now. Our miracle. Impossible but actual. On this unlikely melding of earth, air, fire and water, fused far ago from starstuff and now circling a single sun swimming in some out-of-the-way arm of a second-class galaxy, where we lift Atlantis into orbit; where we seek to populate the far stars in our searching."

Ahh so elegantly expressed ... I'm thinking about this and will be for a while. Tap post for link to the entire essay. I don't think it's any darker then the mud ... The mud we were raised out of and the mud that has a claim yet ... but no sting.


The Christian calendar is organized around two major centers of Sacred Time: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany; and Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, concluding at Pentecost. The rest of the year following Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time, from the word "ordinal," which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.).  Ordinary Time is used to focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the church in the world. 
googled liturgical calendar to get this all in order.

Some how, beyond reason, maybe before reason and after reason, the heart knows.

29 November additions:
As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.and these ...
"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
~ Einstein

... Sciences and The Humanities ... Separate tracks to off track maybe. I like what O'Donahue said about the soul of man ... That rather then contained within one's body, "it" encompasses the body. That idea makes sense to me because I am certain that our intellect is part of a developing soul ... It seems like it has to be because many of our choices are made intellectually ... Hmmm ... We think about stuff rather then simply act on impulse. We become less impulsive as we live our choices ... . I'm laughing at myself a bit here because I stop to wish impulses didn't carry consequences ... Uh, unpleasant consequences that is. Just saw these quotes which belong here for later ... I'm really just thinking about choices today and looking for a particular quote. I really like Einstein. I think he must have been a marvelous man.

An edited list of Kerouac's essentials 'cause the full list is just too much to consider on one piece of paper.

"Life must be rich and full of loving–it’s no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone."
Belief & Technique
For Modern Prose
by Jack Kerouac

List of Essentials

Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
Submissive to everything, open, listening

Be in love with yr life
Something that you feel will find its own form

The unspeakable visions of the individual

Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog

Write in recollection and amazement for yourself

Accept loss forever
Believe in the holy contour of life
Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in mind
Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better

No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge see
yr exact pictures of it

In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
Composing wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
You're a Genius all the time
Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven

I remember when I was first asked if I wanted to accept Christ as my savior. My grandmother was the leader of the young girl's group in her church. We, all my girl cousins, were included in every event that she planned for them. Lots of fun ... and I began to learn a little bit about Jesus along the way. One evening a guest speaker asked us if anyone wanted to give their life to Christ ... "It will change your life" he said ... and I wasn't too sure about what that might mean, but I knew I wanted to find out. I was drawn to Jesus and the notion of having his guidance in my life. I stayed behind while the others ran off to dinner and games ... I asked Jesus to change my life that night. It was a long time ago, and I really don't remember much from back then, but I do remember thinking my life was pretty much the same as it had always been. I think I was disappointed. That was such a long time ago. I remembered those words the other day when someone said, "... It will change your life." We were talking about something that would in fact very likely change my life. We were talking about physical fitness. I said I didn't think my husband would be very supportive of me "up in the gym all workin' on my fitness".. He said he thought my interest in a fit life style would encourage my husband to do the same. I don't know. I am afraid it would not be helpful to our relationship. Our relationship is a lot more important to me then me becoming a smokin' hot old lady. ... it will change your life ... I looked down to the right thinking, remembering ... it kinda creeped me out and made me a little sad to hear those exact words ... .
"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." ~ Thoreau. Married people do not travel alone ... We know our choices reach in to each other's lives. I would like to be more fit, I actually enjoy working out ... I do all the cooking, seems like I could dictate a very healthy diet, but I can't even keep white bread out of the grocery cart.
Here's the thing. This is gonna sound weird. It's time for me to really start thinking about what I do what. I facilitate what others want, but I rarely give a thought to what I want. The only place in my life where I see myself asserting what I want is in relation to flying an airplane. I want this heading ... this altitude ... this airspeed ... there I gotta know what I want, and I gotta make it happen. Maybe there is an aspect of being "in control" there that I haven't paid attention to before. It doesn't feel like "in control" to me, it feels like "responsible and capable". I'll be thinking about that, because I know that the real me never feels more at home anywhere then in an airplane ... and that's not even necessarily when I am PIC.
I've seen myself become some one who can identify specifically what I do not want and I can and do make that not happen. I think I need to start thinking about what I do want, because my life is getting ready to change ... and I know I want to participate in those choices. It's good ... a good thing. Maybe I was thinking about this several months ago when I noted this quote ..."The future is not a result of choices among alternate paths offered by the present, but a place that is created ... created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination." - Richard Bach
I told that fitness guy that I've noticed that women my age who get super fit frequently lose their husbands somewhere along the way. I know I do not want that. I also know that my husband has limited interest in physical activities ... he is comfortable structuring his life around intellectual activities and I see him trying with this trail walking thing, and I appreciate it, but, I don't think his priorities will change.
... All these years we've been planning on moving to the beach, and now with this crazy economy and our own obligations and expectations, he's thinking about another full time position. I think it is what he knows to do. Work ... . Our location would change, but his commitments would be pretty much the same. It makes sense. I understand. I'm not fretting about that, I just know that this is a time when I better participate in the choices. We are looking at a place where they would love to have him I believe. They also have a flight school. If we could both work I think that would be a best case senario. I set up a visit with them for late in December.

Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.KJ

And someone's commentary:

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord - Margin, "established." The word rendered "ordered" means to stand erect; to set up; to found; to adjust, fit, direct. The idea here is, that all which pertains to the journey of a good man through life is directed, ordered, fitted, or arranged by the Lord. That is, his course of life is under the divine guidance and control. The word "good" has been supplied here by our translators, and there is nothing corresponding to it in the original. It is simply there, "the steps of man are ordered," etc. Yet there can be no doubt that a good or pious man is particularly referred to, for the connection demands this interpretation. The word "steps" here means his course of life; the way in which he goes.

That's what the speaker was talking about when he said accepting Christ would change my life. He was talking about my course through life. I'm not saying I'm good, just trying to keep the idea of God's watchfullness in mind. I was always perfectly safe and well tended when my dad was around ... Same thing with God, 'cept he is always around. I've seen Him make good out of my mudpies. And being able to trust hasn't changed God's actions, but it has affected how I feel about ... pretty much everything. I really like knowing that I am a person who can trust. And I like knowing that God has a eye on even little ole me. ... and as a reminder of exactly that, I am going to set up a little bird feeder outside the kitchen window ... .


Seriously ... Sunning himself on the runway ... Yes, and pooping on the runway ... And strolling along the runway easement looking at me as though I am a bit of a problem. There may as well be a salt lick set up on the approach to this runway. I have seen whole bunches of deer ... wild turkey ... coyote ... and a kid on a bicycle who uses the airstrip as though it's his back yard. Small town strips ... charming.
my time
whom I interact with
whom I share my resources with
what I can read, eat, study
how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life - as curses or as opportunities
my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others

I can choose my thoughts

The weather is a bit of a mess around DFW right now ... Smack dab in the middle of the country, smack dab in the middle of getting everyone home from holiday visiting. That weather is moving this way and I'm keeping an eye on it ... It'll be here by tomorrow. The warrior has it's annual scheduled this coming week and will need to be flown to maintenance about an hour SE of here. We are looking at 39°F ... about 9°C. I won't be able to fly very high before ice becomes a ... concern. This little airplane has no defense against ice ... Hah, at 150hp, I actually cringe to think of needing carb heat! Let's see, so 9 on the ground and minus 2 for every thousand feet. I'm laughing. That's not enough up, up, for an away! The guy who is gonna fly me back home doesn't have an IFR equipped plane. That baby may need to sit tight in the hanger for another couple of days.
On Thursday, my husband showed me some video while I was stirring giblets gravy. Airplane lights moving until suddenly, shockingly, one of them didn't. CFIT. Sickening. I wouldn't have watched it had I known what was happening. Today, I'm looking at airplanes departing out of DFW ... just for fun ... and I am praying for those guys today. And for anyone with eyes on the weather I'm watching from here, on the ground, where the weather is just a colorful blanket rolling across an iPad screen. I definitely don't want to be sitting on wings praying ... praising, yes fleetingly, praying ... definitely not.

Friday, November 25, 2011

V set the table this year ...

Raising children is a very interesting "project". Your heart expands to envelope them ...and all the while you know that while you help them begin to write the story of their life, you provide the "paper" and guide them as they create the language of their lives ( ... yes, this stuff can be "erased", that stuff however may as well be chiseled in a tablet of stone) all the while you must be mindful that while you will always "carry them in your heart" these are passing through ... Their lives will carry them beyond your shores.
My "baby", V, set the table this year. Her older sister observed that this is our last year for Thanksgiving in this house. Ouch. A fact probably, and one that is both exciting and a tad scary. Life is changing ... and it's changing in such a way that I can see it. Two of our adult children were not at the table this year ... first time ever and they were missed. Another first time ever, Three squeezed my hand as his dad offered "grace" ... and then offered to help with the dishes afterwards. They grow up. They have "grown me up" over the years ... slowly, gently, one long silvery hair at a time.

I am starting to realize as I look back over this particular year, that it has been a time for me to ... I guess the words are to steady myself for a thoughtful look at the possibilities of what comes next ... 'cause this chapter is near it's close. The specific idea of change has been flitting in and out of my life this year. I will make some notes on that later, because it certainly has been a theme this year and I am just now noticing it ... just in time. I would like to make the choices I can make to get the results I want to live these next several years with ... these silver hair years ... lol ... one thing I know for sure, I want to hear myself laughing as often as possible.

I haven't done a single thing with Christmas lights today ... just lazing around today and in a few minutes I'm going to go touch the sky.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day ... I absolutely love this time of year. I'll say what I always say ... and truly always mean ... this is my favorite time of year (till the ice melts on my beds of cheery pansies and cardinals begin to fly ... and that will be my favorite time till ... !)

Tomorrow I will beg out of the shopping frenzy ... I'm going to start Christmas decorating by stringing lights in the crepe Myrtle tree near our front door ... and I am going to hang a few discreet Christmas baubles out there too. This year, for likely the last year, I am going to create a door garland from evergreen and fresh Magnolia leaves. I do the whole thing with a hot glue gun and ... if I do say so myself, it is gorgeous! Tomorrow, Christmas begins. That used to be too early, but now ... I just go with it.
V did the "artwork" ... makes it very difficult to erase!

Today ... Thanksgiving. This is a super busy day for me. I've been practicing intentional thankfulness in preparation for today 'cause this is magic making day for me ... no time to spare for genuine thanks today! Yesterday I rounded up every little ingredient needed to cook this feast ... flowers arranged, crystal and china wiped and stacked ... silver, check. Turkey, picked up, and I cheated a little by roasting it last night and it is the best one ever! Gravy started ... cornbread made and veggies for dressing chopped ... for today vegetables and bread ... and pies are all that's on the before feast to-do. This morning I was up early making a fruit salad with whipped cream (let the naughty begin it seems) and something the girls asked for called monkey bread ... biscuits straight out of a roll/can, quartered, dipped in butter, dredged in cinnamon sugar and tossed in a cake pan to bake at 350 for 20 minutes ... Already done, sampled and here is my verdict ... super easy, sorta tasty, not worth the calories. Raspberries and star fruit festive addition to the fruit salad though. I have just a couple more minutes before I throw on a little glamour and re-tie the apron on over it ... later this morning I will trade my mug of tepid coffee in on a lovely glass of wine. Wine and lots of Turkey are on the diet today ... and my finger may just find it's way into the sweet potatoes!

Okay ... Now it's later and I have to note this: A cup of fresh cranberries, five pieces of candied ginger and 2T of sugar pulsed very fine in the food processor ... chill over night ... equal the yummiest cranberry relish ever (to my knowledge, lol) next time I'm going to add orange zests and if I was cooking for someone who loves them some calienté I would develop some zing with habaneros or maybe just jalepeños (and that would be pretty too).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Notes on Elie Wiesel's Trilogy and those sermon notes from our vist with a Presbyterian Congregation

Now I have finished reading The Night Trilogy ... A memoir and two novels (Elie Wiesel).
I have seen those tattoos on people. Several people. The guy I sang beside all through undergraduate school would sometimes invite me to his parents home for a meal. Both of his parents were accomplished musicians. (His dad was a medical doctor by profession, but violin virtuoso was his soul's expression ... His mother's hands drew melodies from their beautiful grand piano with her eyes closed ... She always played with her eyes closed, and when I listen to Schubert, Chopin, Wagner with my eyes closed, I hear her.) They were the only parents I knew who actually wanted their son to become a professional musician (which he did do to quite astonishing success ... we still keep up with each other and I intend to sing with him again someday ... ) Those are the tattoos I think of when I hear the word ... desecrating marks. And as Elie Wiesel's book Night documents, the tattoo was only a beginning to the desecration of a people and I believe, all humanity. I will hope that each of my children read this thoughtful trilogy.
On a purely intellectual level, DAWN is written with an interesting insight. For me, the underlying perspective is very powerful. At A-Mused, one of the few blogs I routinely look at, this little bit was offered for reflection:
If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart I’ll always be with you.
~ from Winnie the Pooh

I think Elie Wiesel's book, DAWN presents a picture of the ever present contributions to our lives, of those we have been shaped by, including all of our younger selves, and elegantly portrays our duty to them. ... yes, we carry them in our hearts ...

The Presbyterian order of worship, with my notes scribbled on it, has been my book mark this week, and before I put it away, I want to transfer a few thoughts to here.

*God's hands can be seen in His creation ... and via His creative hand, His mark is also in us like a self portrait. ... not especially as physical, rather as we really are ... He made us that special. (Spurgeon's sermon on the Miracle of Love expresses this same notion of "us" as we are seen by God ... Not the messed up us, but the restored us)
*his hands are on His creation too ... Col 1:17 (all things hold together ... and I listened just recently to Louie Giglio's talk on telomeres) There is a message from and of God in all He has made.
*Ps. 104 was the text, and hé gave Romans 8:28, Ps. 40, Heb.10 I Peter 5:6&7 ... Thé Pastor said "Praise thé Lord" is stated for the first time in the Book of Psalms here in chapter 104.

"No matter how your lot fell you can trust those hands to order, renew, save and restore ---> eternal life. This walk, in His hands, leads to Jesus Christ." would summarize what I thought was a beautifully crafted sermon


Thankful for Frankincense and Myrrh hand soap ... a small luxury easily taken for granted ... Like the ability to wash my hands anytime I want to with clean warm water. I remember the very low water pressure at the home I recently visited. This wonderful bar of ZUM is a seasonal reminder of the many blessing we enjoy right here in this kitchen

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length." ~ Robert Frost



Eclipse on 25th November if you're in Cape Town ...

If you have already obtained a calendar for 2012, be sure to put a big red circle around 20 May 2012 
That is the date of the next solar eclipse and it promises to be a spectacular event.  It will be an annular ("ring") eclipse that will be visible from parts of eight western U.S. states during the late-afternoon hours. 
For those living in parts of New Mexico and west Texas, the setting sun will be transformed into a blazing "ring of fire," in some cases lasting for more than five minutes. And across much of North America, the exception being those near and along the Atlantic Coast, the sun will appear partially eclipsed.
Needless to say, in contrast to next Friday, next May's solar eclipse will have a huge viewing audience. 

And they have a lot of info on beginners telescopes too ... They are not all crazy expensive.
My photo blog has been simmering on the back burner for several months now. The laptop I was using stopped working and I was fortunate to replace it with this iPad2 ... I absolutely enjoy this thing, it is truly a delight, but ... I've not figured out how to post photos in a way that I like from this platform. I've been saving up for a new laptop. Maybe soon. So ... This morning I thought to look at my photos ... I'm actually upset about something which is always present in my life, but which can sometimes be ignored ... until it asserts itself and reminds me of how fragile, temporal, our peace may be. I've been learning how to actually let God take care of that ... stuff I can't do anything about must really be His business. Anyway, I thought what I can do is keep on reading that Spurgeon sermon and give it opportunity to sink in ... To hydrate my soul with the truth of God's love as Spurgeon has such an elegant way of expressing it ... and ... there is a blackboard wall in my kitchen waiting for some awesome uplifting quotes to be artfully posted celebrating Thankfullness ... and that little photoblog, snapshots a day at a time of a pretty fortunate life ... my life. I remember what I was thinking and trying to save to remember with each photo. The photos are a stack of thankful moments. So ... On to the chaulking of positive thoughts ... and later, maybe a walk around with Sammy and my camera.
“In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” and ...
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” and ...
“Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls.”

~ Melody Beattie
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues”

~ Cicero
“Rest and be thankful.” and ...
“We have within ourselves
Enough to fill the present day with joy,
And overspread the future years with hope.”
~ William Wordsworth

Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. ~ Henry Ward Beecher


Monday, November 21, 2011

Miracles of Love ~ C.H. Spurgeon ... Click to link PDF

~ found photo (idk)

...the text sets forth a charming fact which I desire to insist upon as God's Spirit shall help me. It is this - not merely that love desired our salvation, planned it provided it, and so on - But that the instrument that love has used has been love.

See the summer's sun assail and vanquish the iceberg which has floated from it's Northern home! Winter's ruder storms could not dissolve the monstrous mountain of ice, nor could a thousand hurricanes and storms break it in pieces - but the sun shot a strange tremor through its heart the moment he smiled on it and every beam that fell from the fair orb of day shot through it like a blast, till at last, yielding to the mysterious glow, the iceberg lost it's hardness of heart, bowed itself from its chilly loftiness, fell in to the warm gulf stream and was no more to be found.
Was it not so with you when the eyes of Jesus darted love into your heart?

Lose your sense of Jesus' love and the power of your religion is gone. You have stolen the life if you have taken away the love.

The Rabbis say that God took Moses soul away with a kiss. So it was I doubt not, for so He does with all His saints - He kisses them into Heaven

Sermon notes. This same sermon speaks about trusting the nail torn hands in which our names are written. Trust opens the way for the mystery of love to "happen". I see that now. I'm starting to understand why love is so very important. This sermon says God does not chide us in to relationship with Him, rather he loves us in to relationship. It's hard to begin to grasp a love like this. He woos us along with an outstretched invisible hand and we reach for him, stretching in faith ... hoping for something we don't know quite what. Yes, I know how that feels.
And what about this, He kisses them into Heaven. So sweet it kinda took me by surprise. What if it really is like that? This picture of tenderness that Rev. Spurgeon paints ... I can barely absorb this. I've read this sermon several times now and the words wash over me ... soothing ... but it's not sinking in. I am afraid to let it sink in. I have felt a tiny shimmer of something like this ... This love is seeping through the place where I let someone lightly run their finger over my soul. It absolutely amazes me. I'm thinking about this. I really hope C.H. Spurgeon is right about this. Sometimes you think you're going to be loved, or even just kissed, and it turns out ... not. I guess to be loved is the thing we all desire ... it gets our attention ... and we are even willing to settle for the tiniest taste of something vaguely like love. It's sad really. "Love" has been pulled this way and that until it's difficult to know what the word means. I love you. I say it every day to my family and my closest friends, and I mean it. The love Spurgeon is talking about is different from that. I'm thinking about this, this miracle of love.

Cool Pix link ... Amazing photos of volcanic eruption in Chile this summer

Lightning bolts strike around the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain near southern Osorno city June 5, 2011. The volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Third Sunday out and about

We worshipped with the Presbyterians today. A former neighbor and friend whose husband was on staff there jokingly referred to Presbyterians as "the frozen chosen" ... after today, I'd say nothing could be further then the truth. We found many familiar friendly faces ... people I have been acquainted with for years. Among them, a couple of people who have participated in my ground school class, the leader of my daughter's bible study group, a former basketball coach, some parents I've shared bleacher and cheering with at the baseball diamond ... neighbors ... friends. My dentist is one of the elders and he voiced their prayer of "Thanksgiving and Petition". In a way, it was very different then how prayer is offered in a Baptist church where prayers are voiced in a seemingly spontaneous manner even when the offerer knows well in advance that he will be asked to offer the prayer. I do not know if those men consider what they will say, but I do know that an unspoken attitude is that the prayer should come from one's heart, meaning ... off the cuff, never "pre-meditated". The prayers offered sound very similar from week to week ... . Today, as the Elder addressed the congregation in an informal manner, he said he had thought about the prayer all week and wanted to offer words of thanks during this week before Thanksgiving when people are generally too rushed with feast and company preparations to be as thankful as they might really want to be. Too distracted to be thankful in this season of thanks. That's something to think about for sure. Yep ... and like Christmas tries to become ... too busy finding perfect gifts to wrap to remember the perfect gift of the Savior's birth.

Note to self ... Slow down enough to recognize this wonderful season of thanks. There is so much to be thankful for.

I have been watching my calories pretty closely these last several days and I am thinking about baking a pumpkin pecan cheesecake ... featured on the cover of this month's Southern Living. I am still struggling to get ice cream off my mind. Ice cream seems to me to be my biggest temptation and most potentially destructive downfall. Ice cream with the novelty of chocolate syrup ... who knew? Ice cream would ruin my diet and likely spoil me for more appropriate fare. My husband has asked me to bake a pecan pie along with the cheesecake ... . I will prepare the traditional feast. One and Two will not be joining us this year, and V is already making her lists as she is excited about helping cook. I enjoy Thanksgiving wafting through the house, reminding us to be thankful of the many blessings.

Today's message was very poignant, profoundly moving. The sermon, from Psalm 104, was titled "In His Hands". The Pastor created a picture of a walk in these woods, around here, as the colors change ... he painted a place of awe and wonder at the work of God's hands, and described those hands as being over us and under us ... holding us. My notes are in a different room, and I will come back to this post with the references he cited within the scriptures. The sermon culminated in the pastor saying that at sometime, sooner or later, one asks if those hands, God's hands, can truly be trusted. Then he talked about the nail scars in the hands of Christ. "Hands" was the pedal point, and I thought he did a very nice job of prompting thoughtfulness and thankfulness. The sermon was very much like Louie Giglio's talk on the majesty of God. It was, for me, a very good experience. My husband experienced it as more of a performance ... it lacked some vital element for him. He said it did not seem like a message to the congregation from God via a pastor, rather a clever presentation of biblical ideas. He said people respond differently based on what they become accustomed to within a spiritual context. I very much like the adventure of sharing worship outside our "box", and I am thankful that my husband is willing to explore different Christian worship settings. He said next week we will worship with the Pentecostals. My mother is Pentecostal and I know I don't prefer the Pentecostal paradigm. She became more comfortable with what she calls "Full Gospel" churches when I was about thirteen. She and my dad didn't see eye to eye there and it became a bit of a problem in our home. That was a problem that time ran out on. Her unwillingness to follow his lead and his easygoing approach to spiritual matters laid the ground work for some of my private grief. I didn't want to be like my mother. I am a bit uncomfortable with visiting a church that will probably overwhelm me. Or it might be just the thing. Good thing L is setting the agenda, because I would probably skip the Full Gospel churches all together.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. – Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)
... (my Dad's take on Christianity ... it's all good ... people "work out" their salvation in highly individual ways)

Recently, I have felt a pull towards trying to drum up some thankfulness for the gift of my mother. I believe she was the mother that God chose for me. My lack of appreciation is not something I am proud of. She was definitely awesome at a lot of admirable things ... and, I'm thinking of her as one of God's favorites. We are making plans to go visit her at Christmas time. I know she will be pleased.

Southern Living's Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
(... Praline topping separate recipe)


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Praline Topping
Garnishes: coarsely chopped Pecan Pie-Glazed Pecans, fresh sage leaves

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)
3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.
Try This Twist! Sweet Potato-Pecan Cheesecake: Substitute 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. Proceed with recipe as directed, baking 1 hour or until almost set.
Praline Topping

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.

Southern Living

Additional notes ...

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
    the Maker of heaven and earth,
    and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
    born of the virgin Mary,
    suffered under Pontius Pilate,
    was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
    from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
    the holy catholic church;
    the communion of saints;
    the forgiveness of sins;
    the resurrection of the body;
    and the life everlasting.


... was read or recited by the congregation as part of the service. Standing beside my husband I felt him tense during this time. He is very uncomfortable with responsive readings and certainly anything which may be chant like. Could he in the privacy of his heart affirm these beliefs? Most assuredly ... all except that little line about the holy catholic church. While we were preparing lunch together and visiting I brought this up saying the word catholic in the creed is not big C Catholic, any more then baptism is big B into the Baptist fellowship. I said I understand the phrase to mean "the church; followers of Christ, past, present, future. He looked up the definition, but ... I know he is uncomfortable with the whole thing. The Lord's Prayer recited is a-o-k, this catholic stuff is rather unsettling. I note this here because I see it as an illustration of a larger matter of difference. There are people who will absolutely plant a fence post or even a whole line of fence posts on their convictions of what is right or wrong. Lines of interpretation and understanding, sometimes eternal truths, sometimes just denominational dogma, are fastened to those posts creating fences which are boundaries ... protected by some internal cowboy on a horse riding the line, repairing breeches, securing the pastures, asserting ownership ... all that. Keeping what is valued "in" ... keeping the "bad guys" out.

On the books in Austin, Texas:
Law Summary
Wire cutters can not be carried in your pocket.
In the days of the old "wild west", cowboys would cut barbed wire fences of property owners in order to allow their cattle herds to pass through. To prevent such acts, an ordinance was passed.

That's the idea I'm trying to express ... boundary management is not a bad thing. And interpersonally ... spiritually ... it is important to form and maintain beliefs and values. But, there's got to be a way to make room for your neighbors to drive their cattle up to Ft. Worth ... to market. ... and ... you just might want to trade a few heads of cattle thereby strengthening your herd with diverse DNA. ... Shoot coyotes, let the law take care of the rustlers ... and maybe have gates here and there in your fence line.
By now, at 52, I pretty much know what I think and why I think it. I also believe people who think differently have reasons for reaching the conclusions they are at. I think it's okay to make room for their "ways". I don't have to be "right" for everyone, what I have to do is accept responsibility for myself ... I really should be preparing to answer for myself. That is a core belief of mine. I should be working out how I want to answer the questions that I know will be forthcoming. I am already answering some of those questions with how I spend down the moments of my life. Whether it is pretty or not, my actions speak my beliefs and my values. To me, it doesn't matter one bit how a group "does" communion ... if it's done every time they meet, once a quarter, wine and unleavened bread, a loaf, saltine crackers broken, grape juice ... distributed from fancy silver platters, plastic cups, directly from the hand of the pastor ... none of that matters to me. Maybe it should (I really mean that ... maybe I lack convictions). What matters to me about the sacrament of communion is that Jesus, the Son of God, came as a man and lived a life that asks his followers to "Do this in remembrance of me". Communion is symbolic of what Jesus did for me ... and you ... it is intimate and personal. How it is presented within a group seems beside the point to me. It's about checking oneself in relationship to others, past/present/future, and in relationship with Christ. Communion is symbolic of what Christ calls his followers to do ... in remembrance of what he has done for us.

As for the other, I understand fence lines. I understand the violation represented by wire cutters. I think it is just awesome that we are getting to experience worship with different congregations ... I am glad to live in a country during a time when so many church doors are open. It is just great to see the similarities expressed across the various Christian denominations and interesting to see some of the differences. I felt at home with the Church of Christ congregation. The visit with the Baptists felt awkward because there seemed to be an overt push (agenda) to position women in leadership roles. There are many examples of strong women in the scriptures and I understand how women have felt discounted by religious practices ... It's a tough path to cut. I see leadership as servant-leader ... humility is a difficult garment to wear ... seems to get stepped on a lot and pulled from one's shoulders. Leadership can easily digress to tyranny, leadership can easily become all about the ego of the leader, rather then the common good/goals of the led.
"Leadership is getting someone to do what they don't want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve." - Tom Landry
I felt at home with the Presbyterian congregation. I loved how they lingered after the official part of their service was over. They have community. Ours was the first car out of the parking lot!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

From interesting facts about Jupiter by Frasier Cain (googled)

...Jupiter is the third brightest object in the Solar System, after Venus and the Moon. Chances are, you saw Jupiter in the sky, and had no idea that’s what you were seeing. Read Universe Today, and we’ll announce when the best times for seeing Jupiter are. But if you see a really bright star, high in the sky, chances are you’re seeing Jupiter. Get your hands on a pair of binoculars, and if you know someone with a telescope, that’s even better.

And that is exactly what happened. I saw a really bright star in the sky. Really bright. And big. I remembered night landings with Venus appearing right base opposing my left base ... Venus looking to land always got my attention ... Venus is bright like a landing light on a big honking airplane ... then my eyes and heart made a quick reaccess and I would smile "ah, Venus, lovely way out there ... " Jupiter does not look like a landing light. Jupiter looks like it rules the night sky. Why do I say that? It's just as magnificent during the day when I can't see it's reflected glory. I like night. These last several nights have been beautiful. Cool and clear.

... faintly ... I remember ... A few lines from "Jupiter" ... Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's time a to change, hey, hey
Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey
. Song by TRAIN ... more recently, "Calling all Angels", and I had no idea - same group who is singing "Hey, Soul Sister"

Good lyrics.

Jupiter ... Hydrogen, helium. My Astromony for Dummies says, "Jupiter and Saturn are mostly hydrogen and helium, like the sun." What I see in telescopic photographs are the clouds of ice similar to our planet's lacey cirrus clouds. What I don't understand is how can it be mostly star material and be wrapped in ice. Sounds like some folks I've known. And I'm wondering is it so visible because of it's size (318 x the Earth) or do those ice crystal multiple light like crystals on a chandelier. And does that super fast rotation produce heat, maybe more and more heat ... I just don't know. Gas planet ... almost a star. I bet it has secrets yet. I'm gonna ask Santa for a telescope. I need to see some stuff.


Pocket full as in almost an entire bag of ... my favorite hard candies ... Worther's toffee!

I grabbed a red fleece jacket from the top rack of the closet on the way out the door to the movies last night. It's getting chilly here and I know they leave the theater frigid so I thought a warm oversized jacket was just the thing. And then jackpot! I love nice surprises found in pockets ... !

Friday, November 18, 2011

Link ... U2 ... One

I'm looking at, an online bulletin board, this morning. The guy I'm supposed to be flying with this week has been busy prepping for his ATP written, and I have enjoyed being at loose ends. I may have a little local flight later this morning ... my iPhone is keeping an eye ... hmmm, an ear ... uhhh, a transceiver maybe ... on that. I've seen those. The very old couple who I sometimes hang out with showed me several generations of those ... their son who is older then me is an electrical engineer and he sent his dad a UPS box full of telephone circuit boards. The receiver "dot" does more then just receive invisible technology (omgoodness totally rocks!) from cell towers, it also does stuff like ringtones and other amusing nonsense ... anyway, all that in a ripple smaller the the tip of a very sharp pencil (and I think I'm busy!).
Yes, that has nothing to do with anything.
Also "penciled in" today: Lunch with Lisa's very best childhood friend. I inherited the friendship when Lisa died. She asked me to look out for her buddy girl and it is my honor and pleasure to do so ... I actually like this woman who circumstances blessed me with. She is a librarian, married to a guy who tests video games for the major gaming guys. She is very qwerky is the smartest kindest coolest way possible. One of my primary stated functions is to to help her wardrobe shop ... which in itself is highly unlikely because I am 80% jeans, Gap plain ole T-s, and boots or vans. Other then that, ridiculously high high heels and the plainest dress possible. Let the legs do the talking is probably my take on dress up. This lady is short and voluptuous ... I just drive with her to the right stores and then ask her if her husband would stop shooting bad guys if she walked in front of the screen wearing that. Pretty simple. So ... I'm still collecting hours in the warrior towards clearing the insurance hurdle and I'll have to take the flight if it's a go ... otherwise lunch and hilarity with a found friend.

One ... Some of the lyrics. I seem to like BONO music.

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it ...

We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
Have you come here for forgiveness
Have you come to raise the dead
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head

The video takes these words further out ... to life and choices on grander view, rather then as I initially read them, within the context of an intimate relationship. And as I sit here this morning watching leaves swirl like glitter in a snow globe I'm thinking about Paul Newman's words to Joanne Woodward on their wedding day. " ... a circle of love that gathers in ..." good words. Circle is my favorite shape/symbol. Circle within a circle, like the intake on a jet engine. Circle like the spoke hub radiating, reaching out to support another circle, the tire on a bicycle. Circle like ring, symbol of a promise. A series of tiny lines intertwined tight, becoming arcs interlocking ... circles are built over time. Circles contain. Circles gather in. Circles focus qi. Perfect symbol ... Strong.

Have you come here for forgiveness ... Have you come to raise the dead ... Have you come here to play Jesus ... To the lepers in your head
. Good words.
"Leprosy is a disease that has been known since biblical times. It causes skin sores, nerve damage, and muscle weakness that gets worse over time." (PubMed Health)

Yes, I come here to work out forgiveness ... yes, I come here to raise what might be dead ... yes to asking Jesus to heal the lepers in my head. ... and he let's us help carry each other.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This morning as I finished running a few errands the city alarms began blaring ... Okay, Wednesday at noon I thought, I'm running just a tad behind where I wanted to be at lunch time, but ... NBD.

The sky looked pretty ominous. Cool. I like weather. I'm in the driveway looking at all these leaves which are falling from the oak tree. Wet leaves are more difficult to wrangle. I'm wondering if I should wait a few days for them to dry out, or just grin and bear it ... The cover is complete and piling up!

Tree At My Window ~ Robert Frost
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

Two & L drive up ... She asks me why I'm sitting in the car with the alarms blowing and I tell her "it's noon and it's Wednesday and it's just a safety test ... No reason for alarm (so dial back the drama ... )."  She starts sort of herding me in to the house and we hadn't been inside for more the ten minutes when the wind picked up and everything small became airborne. I stood out under the front porch ... Awesome! I love the way it feels when a storm is sweeping through ... The rain was blowing plus 45°, but no GR, no green air, just wind. It was safe where I stood ... and freakin' electrifying! I know I am such a nerd ... it doesn't even bother me. I came back in and said I think a tornado cell just rolled right over us ... as in not dropping down ... that would have been something else all together.  As  I  heated up some soup and made sandwiches for lunch a text pinged in from C ... It says "I love you".  Maybe more drama, maybe she's legit scared. You never know with girls. I send her a "LY2 and tornado cell past - another appears to be potentially on the way ... just remain calm ... Dad says keep ur head down ... I say send pictures if you see anything awesome."  She sent pictures.

A tornado did touchdown at the High School. It tore up the athletic fields, score boards, bleachers and all ... totally rearranged almost every car in the student parking lot. Her car was fine ... The tree beside it fell away rather then on ... Her row was the only row that didn't get picked up and rearranged.

This is a pretty wacky time of year for tornadoes. Sammy is still tail tucked in the garage with huge eyes. Forecast for tomorrow ... warm and sunny ... perfect raking weather.


I feel fabulous!
And ... I am grateful for that.
Everyday I meet or at least see women who don't ... feel fabulous ... Maybe they did when they were younger, but don't now, and probably have long forgotten the days when they did. The thing about feeling really good about things when you are young, is ... you have no perspective from which to enjoy your good fortune. I'm not trying to be all miss rose colored glasses here ... just saying most people have it better then they are able to realise. Seems like we tend to look for what's wrong (so we can fix it) rather then savouring all that is so right. I notice this more in women ... maybe because men seem to expect to find purpose/gratification in their careers and most of the women I actually come in contact with do not work outside their homes, and don't think of how they spend their days as very gratifying. It seems like when they do finish this big dream of tending the perfect family and the perfect home ... once they come to the realisation that everything isn't as perfect in their sphere as it seems to be in those orbiting near them, that they sorta implode ... sorta settle in to discontent with their ordinary lives. And fairly ordinary lives is what most of us have to work with. As I think of a hero ... an extraordinary person ... I guess I think of astronaut/pioneering pilots first. (Alright, and John Wayne.) A hero is an icon ... an image of awesome, beyond-human, proportions ... someone who does amazingly strong and impressive feats ... then they go home and maybe, hopefully, someone rubs the warmth back in to their frozen human feet. It's cold up there atop Mt. Olympus and even over Mt. St. Helens way. Now, im just rambling away from this specific thankful.
I was trying to build a place where I could feel fabulous. A place where I could actually do activities that I find impressive. I like to impress myself.
My husband very sweetly remarked recently that he really likes the way I fold towels (and everything else ... Momma did get through to me on a few domestic skills ... I fold well, and I can organise a closet or a drawer ... and maybe even a garage ... Ummm, honestly, I don't find it very impressive or gratifying!) Well, flying, and the actions which support flying well, was a perfect venue for my easy going, adaptive and yet somewhat stubbornly detail oriented self. Some stuff in flying is just flat out science ... fact. Some of the stuff is ... well, it's like magic ... artful. Okay, here I am getting distracted from this thankful again. Anyway ... I knew my full time role as a mom was winding down and I didn't want to keep the apron strings tied in a perfect little bow. I wanted to begin creating another role for myself. Flight instructing seemed to be perfect ... and maybe it still does. The effort spent on preparing to flight instruct distracted me from the fact that an important part of me was becoming wrapped up, stuck, in this sticky dull fog that seems to be pervasive among women of similar circumstance. It's like we start out super vibrant in our young adult life and then just get dull and all smudgy as we age. Those Oprah type makeovers can enliven the veneer, but this is a dull that seeps all the way in past the bones to the very soul ... and then back out through one's face during unguarded moments.
I don't feel that way.
Part of me ... that part of me that is the real me ... was getting lost in the fog and I wasn't paying attention to that ... I found some excellent flight training distractions to occupy myself with. Then ... I think it was in mid-March or so when I was very amazed to hear that part of me laughing. Yeah, seriously ... Serious Me laughing like I used to and I remembered vibrant. It's pretty cool. I wanted to just stay in the cloud that I had stumbled in to on my way out of the sticky dull fog ... this cloud felt more like a cocoon might ... like a warm bubble bath, or a ... well ... sorta like a flight in IMC, the world is out there, but you are suspended inside a space where everything important seems to be within arms reach, your focus becomes very near sighted for that little while.

Now, for the 54/1000 that I am specifically thanking God for ... I am thankful that I feel fabulous in general. I am thankful that I hear myself laughing often ... even sometimes when it might be inappropriate to do so! I feel happy ... not just happy here or there, but happy everywhere ... pervasively so. I am so thankful for this time to remember and celebrate feeling like me. I'm thankful to be totally alive ... it makes me feel able to love.

Yesterday I read these lines in Elie Wiesel's writing (Dawn) ... ... and she began to speak to me of love. She spoke easily and well. Love is this and love is that; man is born to love; he is only alive when he is in the presence of a woman he loves or should love. I told her I knew nothing of love, that I didn't know it existed or had a right to exist.

Those words stopped me. I wanted to think about those words. I'm thinking about love, kinda in general these days. There is a lot more to love then the love between a man and a woman, but that is a love we try to understand ... that love was intended as a gift from God I think. And then the parental type of love ... again expressed to be a blessing from God, and I experience it as so.
What exactly is love and what are we supposed to do about it ...

I Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

... You gotta feel alive to express genuine love in any of its' forms. I'm feeling alive and that is what this thankful is. I'm thankful for the process that resurrected or resuscitated that part of me that was getting left behind in the fog.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another sizzling hot link to the work of Max Levy with shout out for Charles Davis Smith AIA Photographer

My husband first saw this house several years ago ... And emailed a link to me ... And then called me to check my email. He knew I would love this concept. I like the village type grouping of these structures. I like the indoor and the outdoor conversing ... Love the nod to the old style screen boxes. The materials are interesting ... I want to reuse some salvaged wood and old doors ... Old glass, but re-envisioned. One of my friends has the entire first floor of their home covered by the wood from bleachers from her husband's Jr. High School gymnasium. I like the various types of opaque glass used in old buildings and widely available at salvage yards. I like concrete floors and I like wood floors too.
The furnishings in this house are more austere then I like ... I like super comfy down wrapped cushions ... But that would work well in a house similar to this. I like old and new. It's fun to think about.

Max Levy rocks

I often think of our next home ... I say I would like a small well planned space. I say the house should expand to embrace family and friends. Sometimes I close my eyes and move through the space, feeling what I can't quite see. I know how I need it to feel.

Today I happened on this site just suddenly, I'm not even really on line today ... Just letting a thirsty towel help the blow drier along. Okay ... I'm hiding under the duvet with a towel turbine ... I should begin the long process of drying long hair but I'm thinking about a house and I'm remembering how much I admire the work at Wind Point.

And now these photos hop on to the screen and my iPad lights up!
I like them all. I must like the sensibility of this artist. I like the shadows very much ... Shadows always tell a story, and these I could lean in to hear everyday. These are shelters which nurture. I would like for my husband's study to be multi level and free standing ... as the three structures seem to be ... his books and papers are messy ... they have earned a place all their own. There is no reason why the sweep of an airport beacon can't wash a window like this at night. It's the beginning of a good plan.

Well, I'll link this here under the post title and revisit it often as we make our plans.

Quick look at the weather this morning indicates plenty of time for shopping and housework ... Inside that is. The convective outlook looks like the weather imps have carelessly dropped a green and yellow striped afghan over all the sky I can possible see from here ... later today some pink and red may unfold. Weather likes to be sly ... Area Metars have ceilings everywhere and a glance at a good airport for shooting practice approaches has the current TAF at BKN80 ... perfect ... but why and how big is that hole. Terminal Area Forecasts are built from a picture shot straight up ... may be the only blue in the entire state. I look at the temperature/dew point ... twin numbers ... what's gone up is gonna come down.

So, today. Accompany C to see the orthopedists who will tell her the ACL is good to go pound bb hardwood and the sparkle will return to her baby blues. Then, I do some grocery shopping and pantry restocking ... 6 people routinely swing those kitchen doors open just to see what's good ... I am final string to make what's good happen. And ... I have a few social little things to schedule ... those can really sneak up on me. The Thanksgiving feast is right around the corner ... that's something I need to think about too. Today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The LXD: In the Internet age, dance evolves ... | Video on

The LXD: In the Internet age, dance evolves ... | Video on

Psalm 90 ... We spend our days as a tale that is told ...

(btw ... Tap Post title to link to The Hastings College Choir singing Ives: Psalm 90)

photo from here ~ Dee Brestin Ministries

Psalm 90
King James translation:

 1Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

 2Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

 3Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

 4For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

 5Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

 6In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

 7For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

 8Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

 9For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

 10The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

 11Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

 12So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 13Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

 14O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

 15Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

 16Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

 17And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

... The Message translation:

A Prayer of Moses, Man of God

 1-2 God, it seems you've been our home forever; long before the mountains were born,
   Long before you brought earth itself to birth,
      from "once upon a time" to "kingdom come"—you are God.

 3-11 So don't return us to mud, saying,
      "Back to where you came from!"
   Patience! You've got all the time in the world—whether
      a thousand years or a day, it's all the same to you.
   Are we no more to you than a wispy dream,
      no more than a blade of grass
   That springs up gloriously with the rising sun
      and is cut down without a second thought?
   Your anger is far and away too much for us;
      we're at the end of our rope.
   You keep track of all our sins; every misdeed
      since we were children is entered in your books.
   All we can remember is that frown on your face.
      Is that all we're ever going to get?
   We live for seventy years or so
      (with luck we might make it to eighty),
   And what do we have to show for it? Trouble.
      Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard.
   Who can make sense of such rage,
      such anger against the very ones who fear you?

 12-17 Oh! Teach us to live well!
      Teach us to live wisely and well!
   Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
      and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
   Surprise us with love at daybreak;
      then we'll skip and dance all the day long.
   Make up for the bad times with some good times;
      we've seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
   Let your servants see what you're best at—
      the ways you rule and bless your children.
   And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
      confirming the work that we do.
      Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Every time I read or hear these words, I remember (and hear with my soul's ears) the Charles Ives piece constructed around these words. It was a difficult piece to sing ... the discordance etched the sanctuary of the soul and chiseled these words in the granite columns most near the communion table. I am so thankful for the music I grew up being exposed to and singing. the artist, James Turrell, works to express an experience with the light one may see with eyes shut asleep ... like dream light ... . Music can be the same thing ... sounds heard in vast silence.
The speaker during the church service yesterday asked everyone to stand while the Word was being read. I like that ... it seems right. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place ... and I could hear the hard edge of voices stacked too close to each other on the octaves ... the tension created among friends who spent hours together everyday first learning to hold the separate notes and eventually offering those notes back in concert. ... I understand "flow" because I sing ... I understand with my skin and with my heart how it feels to "flow" with a group because of musical offerings. Aesthetics ... an expressing of beauty, and I think it is the expression of a soul ... it is the work which might be offered as a seed planted in the garden ... tended by time. It has significance. This Ives piece was completed in 1924 ... I wonder how it was received ... it was jarring for me when I first heard it in 1977 ... and I was as accustomed to shrieking electric guitars as I was to the thinness of a harpsichord. Anyway ... yesterday ... the words were read and the golden shimmering swirls that my imagination spins ... the light my soul knows ... "swirled" me and I could hear (internally) the music ... and the words ... and the breathe and dismay of the singers around me ... and eventually the resolution of this plea ... God, be near with your mercies ... as this tale is told.

A perfect example of 20th Century music, Ives Psalm 90 is a joy to listen to. Charles Ives was quoted saying to his wife that Psalm 90 was "the only one of his works that satisfied him." Ives completed Psalm 90 in 1924.
When composing Psalm 90, Ives used a variety of musical techniques to express the biblical text. From homophony to polyphony, unison to 22 part voicing (within two and a half octaves), and instrumentation including organ, bells, and choir, Ives Psalm 90 is a remarkable work of art. Throughout the entire piece, a low octave C is continuously played, perhaps, to symbolize God's continual presence. The body of the piece is made of dissonant harmonies during lines like "for we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled" and "for all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told." However the remaining four minutes revel in C Major with distant bells ringing in the background. Resolve has never sounded so good.
a review written by Aaron Green
Bold print added by me. C is continuously present ... all the other notes are rooted in that consistency ... The piece is so hard to sing and also at times to hear/listen to because it's just not right ... It's not a foreign tonality that might make sense if I understood the scale, this is an abstract musical palette which weaves a bleakness and the soul of those hearing knowit to be a predictament ... chaos is anchored by the ever present C. Some philosophical or theological idea I've read said, or maybe it was the string theory guy's lecture ... sorry, idk, but ... In the beginning God created order from chaos. And I firmly believe there was time way before this in the beginning expressed by the Genisis account. C major ... no sharps, no flats ... The foundation on which classical musical expression is built.

Inside, the soul is a sanctuary variegated in luminescent twilight rendered vast in quiet..

At twilight, nature is not without loveliness, though perhaps its chief use is to illustrate quotations from the poets. ~ Oscar Wilde


the soft, diffused light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, either from daybreak to sunrise or, more commonly, from sunset to nightfall.
the period in the morning or, more commonly, in the evening during which this light prevails.
a terminal (terminal, not like a heart event, or cancer, might be ... Terminal like a place/time where one leg of a journey ends (terminates) and another leg begins ... : ) period, especially after full development, success,etc.
a state of uncertainty, vagueness, (I subtract gloom and add wonder as "I wonder" as "the wonders of God").

Normally, in daylight, our eyes are almost entirely closed, that is the pupil is a tiny dot. Obviously we are not made for that light, we are made for twilight. Now what that means is that it is not until very low levels of light that our pupils dilate. When it does dilate we actually begin to feel light, almost like touch
. ~ James Turrell
... This observation rocks! Artist/Observer ... Poet/Witness ... These guys help us "see".
“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“I venerate old age; and I love not the man who can look without emotion upon the sunset of life, when the dusk of evening begins to gather over the watery eye, and the shadows of twilight grow broader and deeper upon the understanding." also ~ Longfellow

“The past is the beginning of the beginning and all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn.” ~ H. G. Wells

“The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying.” ~ T.S. Eliot

“It is the gifted, unorthodox individual, in the laboratory, or the study, or the walk by the river at twilight, who has always brought to us, and must continue to bring to us, all the basic resources by which we live.” and      
“A society committed to the search for truth must give protection to, and set a high value upon, the independent and original mind, however angular, however rasping, however socially unpleasant it may be; for it is upon such minds, in large measure, that the effective search for truth depends.” ~ Caryl P. Haskins (scientific researcher of the spoken and written word and a lot of other cool stuff)

“Laughter is day, and sobriety is night; a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher (Congregational minister, 1813-1887)

Inside, the soul is a sanctuary dappled in luminescent twilight rendered vast in quiet.
... shimmering in luminescent ... casting spirey shadows in ... painting stain glass silhouettes in ...