Saturday, December 31, 2011

Need some help here . . .

If you were an intelligent, creative, almost 3-yr.-old, where would you hide a thumb drive that looks like a cow?  Mmm?  Suggestions?

What I have learned this year . . .

I have learned that I am weaker than I thought I was,
weaker than I want to be--
in every way.
And though I've often said the same,
I know
I am in desperate need of His strength in me.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter White

This is a photo shot on film and scanned, so does have a bit of a grainy feel.  But I love it.

It was taken at the corner of my baby sister and brother-in-law's farmhouse in Ontario in a windy snow storm.  This is before they sold the farm and moved closer to the city to be yuppies.  :-)  We were all hurrying to get into the house, but the landscape was calling me.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Migraine Morning

Since I battled a migraine early on, I will only post these pics of my grandbaby.  She is sweetness and hot sauce! :-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Straddling the Fault

My boys come by their crazy death-defying ways genetically.  The tiny speck of white in the notch at the top of the far off jutting rock at Vasquez Rocks is my hubby--pre-surgery, of course.

When you hike around here, you are sitting on top of the San Andreas Faultline.  We like to live dangerously apparently!  Of course, any place in California is dangerous.  Remember, we have Hollywood! 

It is always best to come when the rattlers aren't active.  Of course, we were wrong about this excursion.  It was April and apparently they are early risers!

Follow the white dot!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Does the history really matter . . .

As I was driving around doing last minute shopping, I was listening to Michael Medved give a history lesson on the traditions of Christmas.

Confession:  I do listen to talk radio, but I get irritated at the format because basically callers are only fodder for the hosts use to further his or hers own goals and agenda.  I may ar may not agree with that agenda on any given day, but I dislike the promoted preception that this is a conversation, when it rarely resembles anything even close to that.  Enough said.

I have heard much of his info before, mostly from legalistic joyless Christians who are trying to prove they are holier by denying their kids presents and carols to sing.  Okay, there's a few cultists and atheists thrown in there, too.

I know Jesus wasn't born in December (probably spring), and the Wisemen arrived, not at the stable but when Jesus' family was in a house and he was probably 2.  Much of the symbolism, from evergreens and holly to gift giving smacks of the Roman holiday Saturnalia, just without the orgy part.  You have to admit, that does make it a tad holier.

But who really cares.  I am not worshiping the tree; the gifts are not what may be impressing a deity; I have no illusions that poor shepherds long ago were shivering under their tunics to the celestial chorus.  December or May--who cares!

It is the heart attitude that matters in all of this here in 2011.  Christians probably chose Dec. 25 as a way to relate to pagan neighbors and redeem the pagan holiday.  But no matter the details or process, what it can mean is a set aside time to honor the God-man who came as a baby.  It can mean loving and honoring family who are made in God's image.  It can mean giving meaningful gifts, not out of obligation, but out of a sincere desire to bless.  It can mean having a joyous time that is honest and authentic towards God and man.  It can be a reminder to reach out to those who are hurting and who are less fortunate.  May it be so!

So were there pagan origins interwined in this "blessed" season.  Of course!  But who cares.  What it has become is another opportunity to serve God and be kingdom people in a hurting world.
Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

More evidence is in . . .

Here is more evidence that wind farms are a really good idea in the California deserts!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Grandbabies Rule!

Don't get me wrong:  I know Jesus is the reason for the season!  But my grandbaby is definitely the cream in my coffee!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What is a “blog” anyway?

Is BLOG an acronym?  What does it mean exactly?  Okay, no fair looking it up on Wikipedia!  I've come up with a few suggestions of what the word might stand for.  Maybe you too can think of some.
§  Beaten down, Losing, Ostracized, and Grumpy.  This is actually my husband's suggestion at the end of another skirmish in our thermostat wars.  I'm trying not to take it personally.
§  Beautiful Lines OGrandiloquence
§  Bad Lines with gOod PhotoGraphs
§  Brats, Lovers, and the Oober Genteel
§  Blithe Loquacious  Offerings from the Gifted
I'm not sure I had much to begin with, but I certainly am running out of steam.  Any suggestions?
Oh, I did think of one for The Birding Bunch blogger:  Bird Lovers Offering Good advice.  :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Acrostic

Come to crush the serpent’s head,
Heaven’s Son, Creation wielder,
Roiled in the raw filth of our mutiny and brokenness,
Intervention looked like a baby.
Sinew, muscle, blood, and bone,
Tears and hunger, heat and cold,
Mender of hearts, mender of bodies,
Authority looked like a baby. 
Savior and inconspicuous Bridegroom, come to crush and be crushed.

Christmas acrostic 12-19-11

Lay Your Head Down Here

Here is another song from my son in China.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

First Breathings

I would abandon my boring blue skies

for this--first breath of winter.

Let the sun beat the desert floor another day;

for now, let this crystalline colored breath and cheek plumming wind

chase me home to hot chocolate or fresh free trade coffee.

The wind at my back, my bike geared up, dog at the trot,

all senses tingling at this frosty pleasure.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coffee Break!

. . . or at least spill!  My "friendly" Cooper's Hawk returned, and of course I jumped up to take a picture through my newly cleaned, and expansively so, window!  See what happens when you clean the whole thing!

Problem:  I knocked over my coffee into my keyboard.  I didn't even notice till he had flown off.  After emptying the keyboard of my vanilla creamed organic free trade blend, and after sopping up the remainder off my desk, I was surprised to find that aside from a stuck enter key, it is none the worse for wear.

I didn't get around to uploading the pictures right away, and when I did today, what a surprise.  It's not the original.  So a wife?  A cousin?  A friend?  This one is almost blue in the feather and the chest is more the typical sandy flecked Cooper's in the pictures.  I hate that they eat my sparrows and finches, but I have to gasp with delight at his magnificence!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Casting Call!

The hubby's splint is off; cast is on.  Then after 4 more weeks of non-weightbearing, he gets the boot!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Studies in Shadow 2: Sure Shadow

Is it enough to follow only shadows—
to follow truth that seems so dim to the eyes, yet solid to the feet?
When the longing for clarity hurts
more that the piercings of life’s pains,
I will grip sure shadows—a pledge of what will come.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Studies in Shadow . . .

We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.  
I Chron. 29:15 (NL)

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 
I Cor. 13:12 (NL)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Write Stuff

What is it that motivates you to write?  What is your process?

I write in several ways.  If it is an assignment or project that I'm not particularly excited about, I still just dive in and try to give it my best, though I may procrastinate for a bit.  I have strong opinions about a lot of things and love to create with my words, so I am seldom stuck for ideas.  When I do run up against a wall, I walk away from the piece for awhile and get a different perspective.   Then I come back to tackle it afresh.

A lot of my best ideas come as flashes of inspiration.  If I don't get it down then and there, or at least the core ideas, the flashes often fade.  That's why I keep journals and am the post-it note queen.  I also write ideas down on napkins and checks or whatever is handy.

I think sometimes people stumble along in writing because they do not have a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation or perhaps even an adequate vocabulary.  I read grammar books for fun.  Obsessive, I know.  So that aspect of writing does not slow me down.  The hardest time I have, however, is with the re-write.

When I complete a piece and I feel happy with my product, it is hard to look at it dispassionately and start slicing.  Even if I make radical nixing (like just automatically dump the first 3 pages) as some suggest, I have a hard time not keeping those pages in a drawer.  It is rather like those cultures who feel like you have captured their souls when you take their pictures.  That is kind of how I feel about some of my writing.  If I sincerely put myself into those pages, I just can't pretend they never happened.  They are in some way a part of me.  Sick, right?  The same is true of songs.  They end up in a file or in a drawer, waiting to be reworked and re-born. 

My kids are going to have so much fun sorting through the detritus of my life! 

So what motivates you to write?  What is your process?  How do you re-write?  Is it painful?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Love is truly . . .

Love is truly a husband who goes downstairs in the cold early morn (okay, the cold is his fault!) on crutches, 2 weeks post surgery, to get an ice-pack for his migraine-inflicted wife.  Amid, I must add, my protestations!  Thank you, Kel.  What a blessing you are!