Saturday, January 31, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
"In October 2006, while I was sitting at a stoplight, I looked up and noticed a brilliant rainbow in the sky. Hoping others had seen the rainbow, too, I looked at the cars around me. Sadly, all the other drivers were too preoccupied to notice the rainbow right in front of us. I wondered how many rainbows or other beauty sightings I had missed by being too distracted and disconnected. So, I decided to force myself into the habit of noticing beauty daily, taking a picture and writing some reflections online every day for a year.It’s incredible what happens when you remember to look up; the project was truly transformational for me. The icing on the cake was hearing from people around the world who were inspired to look for beauty in their own lives.
Some days we all wake up and feel the world seems pretty ugly, the future seems pretty bleak. But when you start to pay attention to the good stuff in life, I swear the good stuff multiplies."
And my beauty sighting yesterday was captured in this picture- Willow in yet another crazy sleeping position, balanced precariously on the edge and giving herself totally to the task at hand- taking a nap. I had not stepped foot outside my front door in 48 hours and was growing weary of this house and its occupants, but this sweet sight was good medicine.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
"It became evident to me after a few fast rounds with the radio that the broadcasters had opened up on Edna awfully far in advance, before she had come out of her corner, and were spending themselves at a reckless rate. During the morning hours, they were having a tough time keeping Edna going at the velocity demanded of emergency broadcasting. I heard one fellow from, I think, Riverhead, Long Island, interviewing his out-of-doors man, who had been sent abroad in a car to look over conditions on the eastern end of the island.
'How wet would you say the roads were?" asked the tense voice.
'They were wet,' replied the reporter, who seemed to be in a sulk.
'Would you say the spray from the puddles was dashing up around the mudguards?' inquired the desperate radioman.
'Yeah,' replied the reporter.
It was one of those confused moments, emotionally, when the listener could not be quite sure what position radio was taking -- for hurricanes or against them.
A few minutes later, I heard another baffling snatch of dialogue on the air, from another sector -- I think it was Martha's Vineyard.
'Is it raining hard there?' asked an eager voice.
'Yes, it is.'
'Fine!' exclaimed the first voice, well pleased at having got a correct response.....
......It was Taylor Grant, earlier in the evening, who pretty well summed things up for the radio. 'The weather bureau estimates that almost forty-six million persons along the east coast have felt some degree of concern over the movement of the storm,' said Mr. Grant. 'Never before has a hurricane had that large an audience.'"
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It does not go unnoticed by the girls that this young man is really really cute, and they become very chatty and giggly and flirty every time he comes to our table. He blushes a bit, and seems to find reason to come past the table a million times, each time looking busy and important, cutting his eyes and smiling, clearly aware that the girls are watching him.
About halfway through the meal he clears a large table behind us and makes a big show of hoisting a huge tray up to his shoulder stacked high with dishes. He's smiling at the girls and they're smiling at him and everything is "working"....and just when he gets even with our table...... a bowl of salsa at the top of his tray turns over and salsa hits his face, his hair, runs down his neck, covers his shoulder.
The girls and I look away as fast as we can hoping against all hope he thinks we didn't see it. We hear an anguished groan as he disappears into the kitchen and once he returns in a clean shirt, he never looks our way again. The moment is so tender and so painful that the girls and I don't even speak of it. We finish off a great meal, if a little quieter, and leave the restaurant.
As we get ready to pull out we see him pull the curtains up and look out at us. The girls get all giggly and screechy and wave and he sheepishly waves back. And Mexican becomes their favorite food!
I've become quite a Show Me The Curry Fan! They make everything look so easy to prepare. I was especially interested in trying this Chivda recipe.
One of my very favorite books ever is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. At one point in the book, the young bride who is new to America and homesick for India puts hot sauce on Rice Krispys to remind her of Chivda, and I've been curious ever since.
I have made it several times now, and it's a hit with my family. I have made revisions each time according to what I have on hand. I don't have fresh curry leaves or citric acid, or a mortar and pestle for that matter. I have used some garam masala and some regular curry powder. We also like ours spicy so I make a double batch of the spices for a batch. Enjoy!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Portfolio work is a non-traditional, flexible career form. Individuals contract their skills and knowledge to various clients and organisations, in effect creating a ‘portfolio’
of work activity for themselves. Portfolio work is a form of own-account self-employment (a business with no employees besides the owner-operator) where the owner sometimes resembles an employee. Portfolio work has been studied
most often in terms of the personal transitions involved. Particular interest
has centered on how portfolio workers craft a career identity. How individuals
‘construct non-organisationally sustained accounts of their working lives’ is a
focus for Gold and Fraser (2002), who examined portfolio workers’ strategies for
For a while, I had a hard time explaining what I "did" , and without a job title floundered around in search of an identity, a label others could understand. In the middle of it all, I quit worrying about whether anyone understood what I was doing and quit trying to craft a new identity for myself. I just was, and I was pretty happy at it too!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
And how lucky is Ursula?
Fun video from the Johnson-McCormick clan celebrating the inauguration.....
Wish I could send them some of these cupcakes......
Maryam is always making me want to go to Marrakash
And finally, your personal moon......
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Praise song for the day.
Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other,
catching each others' eyes or not,
about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise.
All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem,
darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky;
A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words,
words spiny or smooth,
whispered or declaimed;
words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe;
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain, that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce,
built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign;
The figuring it out at kitchen tables.
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."
Others by "first, do no harm", or, " take no more than you need."
What if the mightiest word is love,
love beyond marital, filial, national.
Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
anything can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp
-- praise song for walking forward in that light.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
If it ended completely
At loss, the rest
But you go on.
And the world also.
~ Gregory Orr
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I had forgotten about the whole idea until last week in church when my pastor suggested a similar idea. She put the WORD out to the folks in the church on Monday morning.
As we begin the New Year together, we are putting together a book of words to guide us through the year. So what we need from each of you is ONE WORD. It can be a word that you want to flesh out in your own life this year, or that you want our community to live into. It can be a word of challenge or a word of comfort. It can be a word that you want to hold on to (or to hang on to) this year. It can be a word that will guide you, pull you, push you, sustain you, whatever. It can be a word that you want to give to our community. It can be a word that you've just got to say. I gave us a little time to think about what our word would be at the end of my sermon, and I've been interested to hear from most of the people I've asked that their word came to them very easily, which I think is just so cool!
So think about what your word is, write it down with your name, and bring it next Sunday. Then the artsy fartsy ones among us will get together and make a book of all of our words."
settled on mine, but am sitting with it a bit before I commit to it. Stay
What would your word be?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sometimes -- Sheenagh Pugh
Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you
~ Sheenagh Pugh ~
(In Good Poems, ed. by Garrison Keillor,contributed by Holly Thomas)