Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Repair and Healing is Begun

Hubby's ankle surgery was a success, and we are looking at 10 weeks in a splint, a cast, and a soft boot.  He is not grumpy yet, so things are going well!  :-) 

We are thankful for all the prayers and well wishes.  Yay, God!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Red Rock Canyon, CA

Since hubby is having surgery on his bad leg tomorrow (think:  motorcycles), time is running out.  Mmm, a typical day:  water sprouts, make bread and muffins, check email and FB, correct student work . . . oh yeah, and look over the health directives form, concerning organ donation, life support, etc.  Maybe not a typical day.  Prayers appreciated for tomorrow's surgery!  If the doc is as good with his hands as he is with his mouth :-) we should do well.  But the Great Surgeon is who I'm calling on.

Today's and tomorrow's blogs are posted here at my other blog.  Kel took me to Red Rock on a picture outing, since he will be laid up for 10 weeks.  That was a true act of love since he loves this kind of stuff--climbing and exploring.  And to stay in the car watching his wife climb around taking pictures, well, it was a sacrificail act!  Bless him! 


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Little Sprouts!

I have been trying to cut and paste my blog about growing sprouts in here, and blogspot has decided it hates me! 

The fonts go all weird, so here is the link to the same post over on Wordpress if you want to learn how to sprout nutritious grains. 


Friday, November 25, 2011

To catch the wind . . .

We have breezes in the desert, but quite often they morph into full-force winds--the knock your fence down sort!

I was out on my bike, working with this natural resistance training, when I stopped to take another picture of our neighbor's liquidambar (or sweetgum) tree.  Hold your breath, wait for the pause in the gale, then SNAP! 

Back on my computer, this pic was about to be deleted, because obviously I had missed the pause; but then . . . I saw it!  Do you?  I couldn't discard it because I realized in a moment that I had caught the wind!  :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks a Lot!

I have some friends who have been posting on FB what they are thankful for, everyday for 30 days.  It’s not that I’m not that thankful—just not that organized.
So here’s my list:
1.      I am thankful that the man I am married to now is a much better man than the one I married.  Not that they are different, but my husband, I must say, has grown into a man of strong character.  But just so he doesn’t get a big head:  He still will not listen to my profound commentary on life as I lay in bed.  That’s when I get some of my best ideas; him, that’s when he assumes he should be able to sleep.  Our prenuptial didn’t cover that!

2.      I am thankful for my four wonderful sons and their three wives—not that they are sharing; but number four is still unclaimed, all 6’5” 200 brilliantly musical pounds of him. Whoever snags him will get a guitar-playing, drummer, bass player type person who is as luminous as Bach, though a touch louder.  They will also inherit his Musician’s Institute debt. 

3.      I am thankful for my Mom and Dad and family—including in-laws and outlaws.  The memories I have of growing up on a farm in Canada are sweet, except for the times I was blamed for all the things I possibly didn’t do.  Just because I inherited a guilt gene and others inherited the I-am-so-innocent gene, doesn’t mean you should automatically assume I did it.  It needs to be proven in a court of law (which would be hard since I destroyed the evidence.)  

By the way, the first one of my siblings to read and respond to this post gets to inherit all my music royalties!  Since none of them follow my blogs, that’s probably not a risk.  And if any of you guys do happen to read this, I was lying about the royalties part.

Speaking of royalties:  One of these days, I’ll have to write a blog about the letter I got from BMI seeking confirmation that I was dead. 

4.      I am thankful for my organic farmer people who collectively (not the Communist collectively) contribute to my box of produce each week, enabling me to juice to my heart’s content (not to be construed as the steroid kind). 

5.      I am thankful for words and music and whole wheat bread; I’m thankful for coffee and chocolate and pumpkin pie (which I’m having for supper—warming up to Thanksgiving!).  And raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens . . . and clouds and trees and digital photography.  And grammar and students I can oppress with it.  I’m thankful for computers and Word docs that heal my lousy typing.  I am thankful for books and Amazon.com and weather and Motrin!  Mmm, this could be a long list.

6.      I’m thankful for water and memory foam toppers and stationery.  What would I do without bicycles and fall leaves and friends and clothes and guardian angels?  I’m thankful for movies and calendars and stuffed animals and hummus.  What a wonderful world!  Sounds like a song.

7.      Oh, and I’m thankful for truth, the Gospel, and a mind to apprehend the goodness of God that saves.  That’s a lot.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Save the turkeys; just eat the pumpkin pie!

Two almost profound thoughts for the day . . .

Photograph is totally unrelated to the blog post. :-)

Some folks see the glass as half full, others half empty.  My husband thinks I see the glass as half empty, but I say, "Wait . . . you mean you got a glass!"

Why is it that when you hear of Ecoli and other horrible life-threatening outbreaks, it is in relation to things like organic spinach or sprouts, or maybe beef (I read the Robin Cook novel, so I know how that works!).  If there were a serious risk of dying from chocolate (I mean other than the end-game effect), it could save many a diet.

Another totally unrelated image just because I can.  It's my neighbor's tree! :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mahoney Baloney and Other Hate Crimes

I never saw an African American person in the flesh until I was a teenager.  I was a camp counselor and one of my charges was a little black girl.  I found myself torn between trying not to be prejudicial one way or the other.  But I didn’t know how to feel, how to be.  Up to that point, I had only seen African Americans on television or saw them in pictures in a more patronizing way as poor and distant objects of missionary efforts.
It wasn’t that our farming community was racially segregated.  It was just the way of things.  There were Dutch, German, and smatterings of a few other European nationalities, but mostly Irish and English.  I had things in my life that held absolutely no racial meaning for me, but now I wince to think of them, and my children tell all their friends (loving to make me squirm) that their mom called filbert nuts nigger toes and played a dodge ball kind of game, yelling, “Hit the nigger, get a cigar!”  I didn’t even know what “nigger” referred to.  It was only a child’s game, like hopscotch or French and English.  In my last year of high school, a husband and wife teacher team were hired at my school.  I never had either of them for a class, but I would see them in the halls.  I wanted to feel neutral and accepting, but I didn’t know how to feel.
When I went to college in the States, there were many more black students, and I started acclimating more to racially mixed environments; but when a black student asked me out, I was thrown into conflict again.  What did I really think and feel.  I struggled with being patronizing in an attempt to prove I wasn’t prejudiced.  Somehow I couldn’t bring myself to say, “No, I don’t want to go out with you because I don’t like your personality, and you act like a jerk!”  With my history and exposure, I did not have a chip in my brain that made sense of the racial tension and prejudice in the world.
As someone wrote, pertaining to the intensity some groups feel toward hate speech, they “just don’t get it.”  I didn’t get it for a long time because of ignorance and lack of exposure; the idea of hate speech was not even on my radar.  My closest idea of hate speech was probably when a classmate in elementary school stole my paper hat that named the local Conservative running for office.  His name was Mahoney.  My mate, running through the school yard with my hat, yelling, “Mahoney Baloney, Mahoney Baloney!” put me in tears.  I think the tendency today is similar to that experience.  It was a long time ago.  The country was young.  Let’s just all get over it and move on.  Why be so sensitive?
The legacy of slavery in the formation of this country and in her successful economy, the betrayal and decimation of the Amerindian population, the theft of much of the Southwest from Mexico in the name of Manifest Destiny is not something to get over as easily as a child’s name-calling and teasing.  Some call the founding of this nation Christian, but when exactly did all the founders think and act explicitly as Christ-followers?  Was this before or after slavery?  There is much to appreciate in their legacy, but also much to question.  I would opt for truth in all things; and I would hope my label Christian would really mean following in the steps of my Lord.
Though the descendents of the perpetrators cannot be held responsible for crimes and injustices they did not commit, we can all seek to have a better understanding of the violation of personhood these crimes have inflicted.   Public national apologies become more political rhetoric than anything, but if individuals seek to walk in humility, casting aside the arrogance that the past is now meaningless, and if we truly seek to speak of others in the same respectful way that we would like to be spoken of, we will have moved a long way toward racial reconciliation. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

curves not Curves . . .

 I really did mean to go exercise at Curves.  I was dressed for it and I walked up to the door.  But I forgot they are not open early on Saturdays, and I had a coffee date at 9, so I decided to do the other curves.  I headed west, following the curves out to the farmlands.  The day was cloudy with the sun desperately trying to peak through.  Sadly, there was too much glare to get the kind of pictures I wanted, but, at any rate . . . this is my exercise for the day!
Parking lot at Curves!  See, I was there. :-)

Then home again, home again jiggity jig to capture the birds at my feeders.  This pleasure needs to have burned at least a few calories.  :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Butcher of the day . . .

Our neighbor is getting a tree . . . um, well, trimmed.

If this guy does hair on the side, I will not be getting mine done!

Friday, November 18, 2011

More color and comment (sarcastic, of course) in the desert . . .


I ride around on my bike, looking for pictures to take.  Crisp fall air and photography take the sting out of exercise. 

This top one was taken a little off the road near where a car was parked.  I didn't notice till I got back on my bike that there was actually someone in the car, who I'm sure thought me an idiot.  But to be fair, I think he was a robber or a sexual predator casing the street!  Or he might be stealing a smoke because the wife won't let him smoke in the house.  Maybe that.

With this picture, I look up at the flaming deciduous against the backdrop of conifer and try to imagine that I'm not surrounded by a housing tract and an asphalt drag strip, with a scary tattooed guy quickly approaching me on the sidewalk.  Mmm, I'm on a bike, he on foot.  Do I think he can run faster than I can pedal?  Maybe.

This liquidambar tree is certainly living up to its name.  It caught my eye from a side street, and I needed to go back and capture its soul.  The house on whose lawn it stood was a bit run down, and I wasn't sure it was even inhabited; though, I did have an inkling that if I heard a "sic 'em" from behind the peeling door I would need to make a fast getaway.  It was the sign "Pit Bulls R Us" that gave it away.

Though these little red wanna-be trees bloody the sidewalk, they make a beautiful flaming site on this nice fall day!

And then I bike home to nurse my knees, and my own roses have shaken off the heat and gloom of boring blue summer skies and are once again blessing us with heady blossoms!  I love the fall!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Color in the desert . . .


molten amber--

chlorophyll recedes and crisp desert nights turn sweet red

the summer’s green.

Leaves on spidery spindles


Wind rustles this factory shaker, this oxygen maker,

and in a glance, it’s gone.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Obligations and subliminal pressures . . .

11-'11  Oh, and I need to prioritize photography!  :-)

Life is full of overt obligations and subliminal pressures.  There are so many have-tos, it’s hard to figure out what to prioritize.
I need to prioritize exercise because, aside from the aerobic and anaerobic benefits for my body, the culture says I don’t work hard enough in a typical day (as if pushing computer keys and sipping coffee is lightweight!); so it’s important to spend money you can’t afford for some trainer or club owner to affirm your sweating.  Only then will your efforts be deemed successful whether you lose a stitch or not.
Which flows into my second priority:  weight loss.  Every billboard and fashion magazine tells me that pleasantly plump is certainly out and svelte anorexic is in, unless you’re in Paris where the public is demanding the banning of the “dying” look.  My inclination is to say that when you are 60 years old, have birthed 5 children, and have survived menopause, then you talk to me about losing weight.  But since I still tend toward narcissism and draw my ego health from my similarly broken peers, I still make the effort, which is instantaneously rewarded with hormone-free ice cream and organic strawberry jam! 
I need to prioritize family, and I need to prioritize work.  No brainers.  I hate that phrase.
I just read a few of chapters in The Happiness Project, and now I find I need to set aside times for fun—I mean like, put it in my day planner.  And I need to make time to de-clutter.  If God had wanted my house de-cluttered, it would have been born that way.  At least that’s the line I give my sons about tattoos!
I need to prioritize food selection and keeping up on all the documentaries that reveal to me another company I can’t support and another food group I must avoid.  And because knowledge is dour, at least I think that’s how it goes, I need to keep adding to my knowledge base to be sure I have enough grey matter left to aggravate the workers in the nursing home that will be caring for me, having lived to be 110 from all the organic produce I’ve been juicing! 
I need to vacuum, and I need to dust (I’ve seen all those blow-ups of microscopic dust mites.  Makes me want to burn my bed!)
I need to do the dishes, clean toilets and showers, and fill the bird feeders. 
I need to read in order to justify buying more books on Amazon.
I need to shop . . . well, just because.
Coffee with friends—a serious have-to (And none of those fat-free lattés either.  I just found out I’ve been robbing myself of fat that delivers fat-soluble vitamins to my needy cells.).
Oh, and I need to prioritize God and my devotional life.  Well, sorry, I guess these are not necessarily in order of greatest importance.  Maybe prioritizing God is like going to the cervical chiropractor.  You get the head fixed right, then all the other body parts fall into place.   
Oh, yeah, and I need to prioritize going to my chiropractor . . .  and paying him would be nice, too!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Framing my world . . .

I realized recently that since earliest childhood, I have seen my world in picture frames. 
With or without a camera in my hand, my eye searches out pattern, color, foreground, background, and other artistic qualities that make the shot. 
Sometimes, I actually could take the shot.  In elementary school, there was a class picture only because I was behind the camera.  I documented the farm and the river that ran alongside as many times as Mom would allow me to use the camera.  In her day, pictures were only taken on special occasions because the film and developing were too expensive to fritter away.  But I took shots of the kids in their grubbies, of Dad laughing or snoring or dropping his false teeth to tease us.  I took pictures of Mom gardening with curlers in her hair and of Dad fresh in from milking or working in the fields—earthy and tired in his farmer tan.  I didn’t wait for the plastic smiles; I pounced for the impromptu shot.
With the advent of digital, many would-have-been photographers have been unleashed to capture their worlds.  It is so affordable and brings much pleasure and satisfaction to those like me who are constantly framing their world.  And how fun to be able to shoot 400 pictures for that perfect one!
These are a few of my favorite old pictures from film that I have scanned.  Each has a story.
The top photo was taken from the end of the lane in a snowstorm (Note the silo.).  I had come home with a husband after two years of marriage.  :-)  Another story!
This picture below was taken of the farm from top of a 65' silo.  I was home from college, and it was a new addition to the farm.  My two kid sisters had apparently climbed to the top, so I figured how hard could it be?  Armed with my little 110 camera, I climbed the outside of the silo.  The rungs were 2 1/2 to 3' apart, and my legs felt felt like rubber by the time I reached the top.  There, I leaned out, holding the top bar with one hand, and snapped this picture.  Pride had kept me climbing; after all, the kids had climbed it!  It was after I was safely on the ground I heard about the inside ladder with protection at your back.  Macho Lill had climbed the workman's ladder (with even one rung missing!) 

This photo below was taken in the 60s.  I was safely on the ground!

More to follow.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ripples . . .


I threw a stone into a pond,
And where it sank, neat circles formed and moved and moved
And splashed the shore where my toes met the silver-blue rings
With squishy, muddy hellos. 
The rings beyond continued on, much farther than I could see—
Past the half-submerged log,
Past the mama and daddy loons
With their babies piggy-backed three.
Waves skinnied by a bobbing boat, fishline cutting the wake;
They moved and moved past docks and weeds and minnows feeding,
Through channels ever deepening and wide,
And on and on, the concentric current pushed to touch
A stream, a lake, a canal, an ocean,
And a foreign coral shore,
And brushed bare toes with gentle, silver-blue hellos.

Who can know what one little stone can do.

                                                By Lilly  5-14-07
Jackson Lake 10-'11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thought for the day . . .

Sometimes the dark shadows are bigger and blacker than what is real.

Don't lose hope.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blogspot sounds like a disease . . .

Blogspot sounds like a childhood disease, and Wordpress sounds like it should produce some sort of gourmet espresso.  What is this fascination with blogging that turns academics and everyday housewives, factory workers and retired grandparents, to poets and essayists?  What intoxicating bit of technology is this that reawakens dreams in faltering souls—that even they may have something worthwhile to contribute to a wide world that is glutted with information, entertainment, and trivia? 
What if while walking in the mall a stranger came up to me, pressed a finger to my head and said, “Like,” followed by a few more random strangers and a few other slightly familiar faces.   What if others shared something personal about their lives that seemed to parallel mine, ending with a smiley face firmly planted on my back . . . pat, pat, pat!  I would call mall security! 
If in that same mall, I held up one of my treasured photographs for the approval of myriad strangers, they would think me odd and much too self-obsessed.  Or they may think it was to attract attention because what I really am selling is Amway.  Yet what do we do every day—we who populate this teeming trafficked web? 
With all our technology, with all our education, with all the potentiality, our culture muffles authentic communication.  The music, the video games, the radio, and the TV fill us up and drown out the slightest whispers.  And there is no more room even for comfortable silences.  There is no more room for responses to crafted words or appreciation for our thoughts and prayers.  We who rub shoulders with so many in virtual and unvirtual ways still experience isolation.
So in this strange way, we risk exposure in a sometimes scary world because blogging gives a voice to the voiceless and sends bread out on the water to see if anything will come back.
Are we searching for empty affirmation from strangers or is it a reach for community?  Is it because we really do need each other that we stretch toward the unknown to share that aha moment?

"Portrait on the Wall"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

News Muse

It is interesting to me how the media can make such a big deal over a memory lapse.  I'm not necessarily a Perry fan, but it is a mistake to make a candidate selection so dependent on whether a person has good media presence or whether s/he is supremely articulate.

I'm thinking that would be way down the list under things, like character, belief system, track record, education, experience, money . . . oh, no, not that last one.

If we keep going for the stars of "Dancing with the Politicians" and "America's Got Politicians," we will consistently be disappointed.  Give me an ugly, competent leader with a lisp, and I'll follow him or her anywhere!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


10-'10 (Not the same creek, but added for effect!)  :-)

My first kiss made me sick.  I was twelve years old and the big sloppy mouthed boy engulfed my lips.  I should have slapped him, but I’ve never been good at confrontation.

There was a creek that bordered the grounds of the church camp.  A wooded area that gave excellent cover for romantic trysts surrounded it.  “Walks to the creek” had become a favorite pastime for pubescent campers, though I’m quite sure this was not part of the standard camp curriculum.

In my naïve mind, romance centered on holding hands and private conversations; so when this nice looking young man asked me down to the creek, I accepted.

My older sister Gwen must have been wiser in the ways of the world for she doubted his intentions and grilled him extensively about his plans.  Having assured her, with the sincerity of a salesman, that we truly were just going to walk and talk, we headed off through the woods.

My heart beat wildly.  A breeze rustled musically through the trees.  We walked hand in hand down a path worn flat by many feet.  I was elated that a real live boy seemed to want to give me his attentions.  I was slightly introverted (when I wasn’t performing and showing off) and had never felt particularly attractive, so in that breathless moment, my self-esteem was mushrooming.  Until he kissed me.

He faced me on the path and almost swallowed my whole face in one kiss.  I was shocked.  He was drooling.  It was so distasteful; I should have kicked him. 

Not wanting to be perceived as inexperienced or nerdy, I stammered around his teeth about the need to be getting back.  We would walk a few steps; then, he would start mauling me all over again.  I should have bit him. 
By the time I escaped back to my tent, I was queasy and in need of the camp nurse.  She poured a minty liquid into a small cup, guaranteed to quell upset tummies and hopefully feelings of guilt and contamination.

This experience faded over time, and once again boys seemed to be an okay animal.  Eventually, I even married one, and discovered kissing is really not all that bad.  Context is everything.  I will always remember, however, that very first disgusting kiss.

I never did get to see the stupid creek.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Pry from my hands these little trinkets,
these very important “holy” things.
Break these idols that I trust in;
let me know my depth of sin.

Devastate me with Your nearness;
fill me with Your Spirit’s blaze.
In one moment, set my mind free
from the churning death in me.  

Pulled by streams of disappointment,
tossed by crests of fear and rage,
fighting to believe the promise—
broken in these times of loss.

            Can this be the road to Canaan?
            Can this desert bloom and grow?
            Can this rock produce a fountain?
            How can living waters flow?

Break these feeble things I cling to;
fill my open, upturned hands.
Wreck my hopes in shallow dreaming,
 Loose me from my useless schemes.

“For I know the one in whom I have placed my confidence, and I am perfectly certain that the work he has committed to me is safe in his hands until that day.”  II Timothy 1:12 (Phillips)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just a Thought . . .

A couple of years ago, I planted a white rose bush beside our already well-established deep rose one.  The white one happily took off and graced us with cascades of white lacy-petaled blossoms. 

But something funny is going on now.

This year, our once white roses are tinged with pink.  The deep color bush is obviously influencing the other. 

This got me thinking:  In some way, because they share the same soil and water, their lives have intermingled so that the lighter is taking on the attributes of the stronger color.  Perhaps because my roots and life are shared with my Master and Lord, my fruit will be tinged with His attributes, as well.  May it ever be so.