Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Celebrations In Pictures

We had a wonderful Easter.  Melanie and her family went to early mass as seen in the bottom photo and then they stopped by our house to say hello as we were heading out the door to the 10:30 mass at our church.  Mei-Ling wanted to go with us so of course we took her along with us.  The service was beautiful and meaningful.  A truly blessed Easter day.  Even I had a new dress for Easter !

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sunshine After A Rain

There is nothing quite like a stroll through the rose garden in the early morning sunshine after a rain the night before.  The contrasts of colour burst forth.  The soil, a deeper brown, the greens, more vibrant and the roses themselves, dipped in liquid sunshine.   One can disregard the wet hems around ones ankles and even forget to notice the drops of rain that may fall from tree branches from time to time as the wind stirs them, but one cannot forget the scent of the roses mixed in with the scent of the earth under foot.  
Not wanting to miss a minute of this glorious morning, where birds sing so happily, and the wet green grass sparkles as if heavens glitter was sprinkled generously over ever square inch of my viewing area, I had my breakfast on the porch.  Savoring more than just the tea and hot cross bun, but taking in all that is around me.  Last nights service at church spoke deeply to my heart.  The solemnity of it, the music, the prayers, the way the church lay in wait for a blessed hope of the Resurrection to be remembered on Sunday morning.  I wanted to soak in the feelings of last night and the beauty of this morning.  Moving through the morning with the sole purpose of feeling, seeing, breathing in the wonder of the world I live in.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Holy Week

The sun setting in the west, cast a golden glow through the stained glass windows of the church.    The old Victorian church feels holy, as holy to me as the feeling I had when standing in prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.  Every time I enter this church I feel bathed in a peace that defies explanation.   This week has begun with a spirit of renewal for me.  A place of being spiritually content.  Resolved of all the questioning.  A new time of peace within.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Palm Sunday

A busy week ahead of us, church every night, which is a blessing beyond words.  Palm Sunday Services were beautiful and so inspirational. 
Our son and daughter in law attended this week with us, with our sweet grand-daughters.  

blessing on the palms in the fellowship hall
procession of palms around the church
symbolic opening of the doors
and the last two photos are of our son and his family

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sermon - Intentional Brotherhood - Roland Ulrich

Intentional Brotherhood - Roland Ulrich

The Power of A Sentence

For the past week, I have been dealing with a rather nasty case of bronchitis.  I had hoped it would go away on its own, but it wasn't, so to the Doctors I went, under Emery's loving prompting.   Of course I came home with medication, that has actually done miracles in a rather short period of time.  During the last few days, I didn't feel like doing too much so I read and listened to music...which led me to listen to a sermon by Brother Roland Ulrich of Squaw Valley, Ca. Pastor of Sequoia Bible Fellowship, (a Mennonite Church)  Roland is the  the brother of Emery's boss.  There is one line in the sermon that has had me thinking and rethinking how I have looked at things my entire life.  Sometimes, the wording of a single sentence can have profound influence on us and this way is one of those.  "God is not interested in how much you give, He is interested in how much you keep."   In a home that focuses on simplicity, we should show just how much money we WANT for ourselves.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St Patricks Day

I am in fact, 93% Irish, proved by my DNA.   Today, I celebrate my heritage with food, music, dance and of course with a cup of good Irish tea with family beside me. 
Wishing you always...
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fruits Of Our Labor

This week I have had two conversations that simply made me happy, the glad heart sort of happy.  Both our daughters were talking to me about their gardens and how much they love growing things.  Our phone calls have been about raised beds and what to plant when and how rewarding it is to go outside and pick a big ripe tomato, or get lettuce right out of the raised bed to put in your burger, in our case, it seems like they are veggie burgers !  Sometimes we wonder if all the work we did with our small children, made a difference and I can say today, that it has for us.  Now that the children are not home to help us weed the garden, we had to buy a cultivator to help with the work.  
Today, I spent quite a bit of time weeding the garlic and the whole time I was out there, I felt as it I was in the most beautiful cathedral.  I felt the presence of God, and I understood completely why God put the first man and woman in a garden.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

John Michael Talbot Peace Prayer of St Francis youtube original 2

Toys That Inspire

Its such a joy to see my grandchildren use their imagination in play.  Simple toys, soft Waldorf style dolls, stuffed with wool that is warm when you sleep with them.  Wool felted animals and gnomes that don't need batteries and require lots of creativity when playing with them.  Dirt is by far the favorite play thing around here at this time.  A bucket, my garden shovels and old discarded coconut shells from the compost pile, seem to provide hours and hours of play.  When our children were little, one of their favorite things to explore with, was a pair of binoculars.  Often times you can find a decent pair at a pawn shop for about the same price as some of the plastic toy binoculars.   I am always on the hunt for beautiful silk cloths for the children to play with, they made huts with them, they wear them, they become princes and princesses with them, or superheros and fairies.   Often times I just find some good finds of gauze cotton fabrics for them to play with too.   Boys seem to need cars and trucks.  We use plastic cars and trucks outside so they can be cleaned easily.  In the house, its wooden train sets and cars that transform our living room floor into raceways and train stations.   When we cut down a tree a while back, Emery cut slices of the trunk and turned them into a gnome home that is played with each and every time the children come here.  Simple toys are best and not tons of them.  Make it easy for the child to be able to pick up and put away their toys, not be overwhelmed by them.   I love Ostheimer wooden animals and figures which seem to last forever and worth the investment.   A favorite place to buy quality toys,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Wow Moment

Emery and I just had the most AMAZING experience ever. I was on the porch drinking my coffee and Emery was on his way back from the chicken house when we heard two red shouldered hawk screeching like crazy. Then we saw them mate, not more than 100 ft from us. It was a National Geographic kind of moment for us. The wonder of nature !   A once in a life time experience. Now we hope they nest close to us.   When I uploaded the picture, I saw that there was a blue jay watching the whole event too.   I love living where we get to see so much of nature up close.  The female hawk has been around for a while now, perching in that tree every day. 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

The Perfect Moment

Rain and sunshine, perfect for a painting in the sky that takes your breath away.
Mei-Ling stood on the back porch, ooohh-ing and awww-ing.  Her first rainbow that has really meant something to her.  Yen is sound asleep, worn out from all his play, so he missed the colors in the sky.  but still, it was, one more perfect moment in time.  


Damp air.  Sky the color of the Zen nuns robes, trees still bare for the most part, appearing as if their utmost tips were dipped in spring time green.  Grass covered in plum blossom petals, the grandchildren asking, "are these big snow flakes Grammie ?"  The soil, more muddy than dry, perfect for playing in, and perfect for making a child's clothes become one with the earth.
Mud boots, wind breaker jackets, buckets and shovels.  Sticks and rocks, rivers to make and gardens to create with duck feathers and old leaves.   Today I realized exactly why I am here on this earth at this very foster childhood delight in these children, whose faces appear as the heart of a lotus flower to me.  As they ate their lunch on the porch, hands still dirty,  dirt in their hair, and clothes that made me HOPE, my laundry soap is as good as it claims, we burned incense and listened to a bell chant.  Mei-Ling asked me, "Grammie, what is the cosmos ?"   It startled me a bit that she asked such a deep question at the tender age of nearly 6.   She wanted a serious answer, something deeper than just a scientific answer since she followed it up with questions about God. It felt as if  I was born, for just this moment in time. The perfection of it all.   A little boy of three, binoculars around his neck, telling me, "There is a downy woodpecker Grammie, like the one in my book".  The cries of a hawk over head, stole their attention away from their food.  It did me too.  Soaring, free, like these small ones in my yard.  Creating drums from old buckets.  Making gnome homes with bark and hollowed out spots by the garden where the soil is loose and rich in color.  
I sipped my tea, thanked God for the time to enjoy this moment.  Freedom mixed with mindfulness is a precious moment.

A New Year

It is a silent sort of morning, sitting next to the wood stove in my rocker, watching the birds outside my windo...