Should we need shelter, I have the tape measure and nylon to secure it for us. Should we need levity, I have some great little cartoons, Music? Covered. Face mask? That hanky should work. Stay calm. ( I have some help for that if you need it.) Everything will be okay.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I would add that money cannot buy:
- Family wisdom and tradition passed on and on with a huge weight of importance
- Chiayim's dimples and the sound of his voice, Shameka's gorgeous eyes and her great sensibility, Kendra's equally gorgeous eyes and her enthusiasm and kindness to others
- the deep tenderness of knowing you are God's beloved child
- the esteem and trust of your friends and family
- your children's love and respect
- a remedy for grief or depression
- another Earth
Anxious to hear yours!
Monday, April 27, 2009
I finally got the courage to venture into my back yard yesterday after a long cold season of neglect. Weeds abounded, but these are the young green ones that look almost like something you meant to have there. And there sat these two old friends- a little worse for the wear, but keeping up a brave front. I enjoyed my time there so much that I paid it another visit today, and tonight have been looking at seed catalogs.
I taped up a picture this week of the same back yard in 1999, the year of it's heyday. I went out every morning first thing and spent a good 30 to 45 minutes weeding and calling each plant by name and pinching things and moving things. The picture was taken on June 28. One month later, I very suddenly became a mom. I've hardly cast a glance back there since. I've been growing more important and more beautiful things.
As I am grappling with sending Shameka off in the fall, knowing Kendra is just a matter of steps behind her, and having already long been discharged by Chiayim, this may be the year to plant and tend and weed again. I'll plant perrineals this time!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
When I taught you
Saturday, April 25, 2009
of party ideas from the girl who never gives or goes to parties!!!
Zange was turning 21 so her sister got this great idea for her surprise party. She made an instuctional video showing how to do this dance. Imagine Zange's surprise? Do you think anyone will forget Zanbe's bday? Read the whole story here http://jessiesharingthecaring.blogspot.com/2009/04/dance.html
8 Things I'm looking forward to right now.....
1. The Derby Parade- this is one of my favorite traditions, carried into my adult life from my teen years. I love that my mother started this, that she thought nothing of taking us out of school so that we could stake out our spot early, and that the waiting was as fun as the parade. I get so so sad on the occasional year when the weather is just intolerable. And it has to be pretty bad to be intolerable. Since we moved downtown, I like to sit on my porch during the early afternoon and watch as all of the marching band buses line up on our street.
2. Shameka's prom. She wasn't going. Then she was. Then she wasn't. And now she is, and I've suggested that this be her final answer. She's going with a big group of kids and I think she will have a really nice time. Now to find a dress and shoes and figure out all of the logistics!
3. Doing something/anything in my yard, maybe even tomorrow. And it's not that I'm looking forward to the work so much, but that I'm looking forward to breaking through the wall that I've been banging against the last couple of years, always feeling defeated when it comes to keeping up with anything in or around my house. My goal for this year is to either get back into gardening or to give myself the grace to say it's just not something I'm enjoying and set it aside rather than spend the entire summer feeling guilty and embarrassed about it.
4. My mother is going to Hawaii in June with my sister and her family. I can hardly wait for her to go, and would give a million dollars to see her reaction to all that she sees. She's very excited and I am over the moon happy that she's getting to do something she has dreamed of for years.
5. Shameka's graduation. Don't' get me wrong- I'm not loving the fast track we seem to be on now toward college and moving her into the dorm. But she has been ready for college life for years. She has become one of my best friends over this past year, and I miss her already, but I also know that she loves home and her family. She tells me all of the time that she is going to stay close to us and I believe she will.
6. Deacons retreat in May. We are going back again this year to a pretty little farm in Waddy where the owners have made this wonderful hospitality house from an old barn. Last year I got to go in one of the bedrooms and have complete silence for an hour and I read and prayed and rediscovered the sound of my own still small voice and I loved it so so much. Can't wait to go there again!
7. School getting out. It's nice to get a break from structure and routine. By August, we will welcome structure back into our lives, but we love the fluid time of summer break.
8. May 12- the opening date this year for the Phoenix Hill Farmer's Market! Yay! Welcome back farmer friends! Welcome back to the extravagant amazing meals prepared from our purchases on Tuesday nights!
Friday, April 24, 2009
I'll be taking Cheryl to Mother Dear's later today. I so love our Friday afternoons in Mother Dear's kitchen. She is a wonderful storyteller and I"m trying to get a few of her stories on video for Chiayim to have to show his children. Gotta love this little story!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I know this is a glorified baby pool, but ever since I've seen it, I've wanted it....
I can do this....maybe not with sea glass, but with something!
I could do this too, but Beth could do it so much better!
Shameka and I are going to make one of these for her dorm room.
You might think from reading this blog that I actually give parties....but I really only like to look at party "stuff" like these
And you may notice a theme that I have with chalkboard paint! Love these!!
Great ideas to get you going on an art journal
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In lieu of that, you can bid on it yourself here.
I have carried a ticket stub in my wallet since May 20, 1978. I saw Harry at the Macauley on that night, on stage and then after the show when he stood giving autographs for hours to benefit his work for hunger relief. The ticket was a whopping $7.50 with half of that going to his charitable works. No other concert, not even Lyle!, has ever been more wonderful than that concert. And when Harry dropped down and sat on the edge of the stage and talked to us about hunger issues in America, it was a true awakening for me. By the end of the show he had the whole crowd on their feet with our arms around each other singing, "All my life's a circle".
Most folks can think of where they were and how they felt when they heard Elvis had died. For me, I remember the moment I heard that Harry had been killed. It still makes me sad.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
These good words from Renita Weems in Listening for God:
Whatever spirituality is, it is not something to be discovered. It is something to be recovered- something you misplace and recover a thousand times in a lifetime. Nor is belief in God, mystery, or prayer something one either possesses or doesn't. Rather, belief is something one tries continually to keep oneself open to, accessible to, or something one continuously refuses to open oneself up to.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I've seen this batted around a few places for several years and have always meant to sit down and write my own, and am finally getting around to it. You can read the background and see the template here. Try it- it's very fun to do!
Where I'm From
I am from one way streets, from Dr. K and my mother's apple dumplings.
I am from the shotgun houses, close and long, the porches filled with music and laughter.
I am from the flaming Cosmos, the Clematis Will Goodwin, the honeysuckle hugging the porch tightly.
I am from Sunday naps and watching "the Crusade", from Mattie and Hattie and the Singletons and Miltons of Devils Hollow Hill.
I am from busy hands, the crochet hook and the cows that need milking and the meals that need to be served. I am from the tapping of the Morse code and the hands that kept the machine running, smoothly and slowly.
From a welcome table where it's better to have too much than not enough and if your left hand itches, somebody's coming with a hole in their britches.
I am from a warm and tender place where requesting #17 at the Sunday night hymn sing always brought an honest measure of Amazing Grace, and from a scrappy storefront that is all things fair and subversive and all love.
I am from infant baptism and ritual and God's hands and feet so present that I could do nothing but trust God's heart.
I'm from Eastwood and Clifton Heights, apple pie with caramel on top and corn- oh, the corn!
I'm from my sister singing Down In The Boondocks and Mean Pills and Michael Row Your Boat Ashore.
I am from Eastwood Christian Church and Aunt Margaret's farm, from Christmas dinners where the men ate first, and I am from Phoenix Hill, a litany of call and response as I walk the block and call the names of all who live there.
I am from deep roots and big wide branches, and I have become where my children come from.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I run with a tie-dye lovin' crowd- got to give these cupcakes a try!
I guess my kids are too old to have known this book, but the movie sure looks fun!
Wouldn't be Wednesday without something that saps your time away!
This is a sweet site.
My new plan of attack for the Sunday night blues and insomnia....
I cannot stop thinking about this.....I want it!!!! Not even sure what I'd do with it, but I want it!
And I'm dreaming of having one of these parties....
We can start with this guacamole....
Cuban sandwiches are very popular in this house, so I think we might like Cuban pizza this a lot....
This makes me almost think I could make real tamales....
And we can finish off with one of these tarts.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We have a traditioin at Jeff Street, starting out on Easter with dark cloth on the windows and no color in the room with worship moving toward this great great celebration. No surprise to anyone who knows me, but every time I see that conga line while people are singing We Are Marching in the Light of God.........I cry. Too too dear to bear.
Before we totally leave Easter, check out my friend Suzanne's blog entry for Easter............http://queenoffun101.blogspot.com/
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
8 Places I love to be
(Not in order, and certainly not the only places I love- just the ones I have on my heart tonight.)
My front porch- It's the center of my universe. When Shawn and I were looking for a neighborhood to plant our lives in, one of the things we were looking for was an urban neighborhood where people still sat on their porches in the evening. Sometimes folks gravitate to our porch, sometimes we all sit on our own porches and talk back and forth. One of my favorite photos is one that Cindy BK took one night after the community had eaten dinner. Donna and I are on the porch talking on one side, Chiayim and Jordan on the other. Sara is sitting on the steps, and Kendra and Shameka were chasing Lydia and Amos in the front yard. A snapshot of my happiness.
My mother's house- I love to be there. Although it is not the house I grew up in, it is a house where I am always my mother's child.
Lucille Grant Park- I dreamed of this scrappy little neighborhood park long before it came to be. That little patch of land once had a little house on it, which Shawn tore down- a job that took him months but that he took a lot of pride in finishing. The park itself is a great example of a colabrotive effort between the neighborhood and New Directions Housing and a group of Presbyterian youth groups. The first summer I went over and sat on the bench there every night, just so so happy that it had finally happened.
Dave and Cindy's front room- Once dubbed the "dance hall" room because it is big enough to contra dance in, it is also now big enough to house a lot of fun kid stuff and a huge welcoming table where the community group has shared so many wonderful meals and great stories. And the community garden just outside the window!
Camp Kavanaugh- My foundation at Kavanaugh is years of summer camp meetings there in the big open air tabernacle. For the past ten years, it has been the home of our church fall retreat- an event the kids and I look forward to all year long. I have always loved it because even when the kids were little, they could hop out and run with their friends and as long as they showed up for meals and bedtime, you knew they were safe and having adventures. My favorite thing to do at fall retreat is to get there first, then lay on my bed in my room with a window open and listen to all of the other folks arrive. I love hearing their cars crunch down the driveway and hear their voices as they unpack and settle in, and my heart welcomes each one.
My sister's house- Any of her houses. Because where her house is, is where she is.
My Aunt Elaine's house- Nothing but the best of memories, no matter where her house has been. Always a pantry full of all the ingredients for her to whip up something wonderful. Full hot breakfast in the morning while listening to Barnie Arnold give the farm report. Mamaw whispering the words as she read her Bible. Playing with Tom Dooley. Staying up all night watching The Crusade for Children. Christmas Day. Oh, the best Christmas Days. No place better than Aunt Elaine's!
The Bodega- I have always wanted a neighborhood "place" and Bodega has just become that for me. So warm and cozy on a winter's Saturday. An arm chair so comfortable that I call it The Lap of God. In the summer, the Farmers Market outside and cold Havanna Mojito inside. Wonderful easy folks who work there and who make you feel glad to be there. Lots of productive meetings there, and lots of good times with friends too.
( How neat to look back at these and see that half of them are right here in my sweet neighborhod!)
Friday, April 10, 2009
It pulls at some deep corner
The hair she had combed,
Blackened nails, limp arms
In crushed silence, we enter
Thursday, April 9, 2009
If You pointed to a basin of water
And asked me to wash the calloused feet
Of a bent and wrinkled old woman
Day after day
Month after month
In a room where nobody saw
And nobody knew.
I shared a bit of it tonight as we sat around our beautiful table at church sharing a simple meal together as we prepared to follow the examples of Jesus in the simple acts of breaking bread and washing of feet in service to one another. I looked around that table, and I knew every heart and set of hands around it- every one a servant.
Michael washed my hands, I washed Di's. Di washed Dan's hands, Kendra washed Shameka's feet, around full circle. We served each other bread and cup in hushed darkness, whispering the words that matter- this is the body of Christ, for you my brother; this is the cup of salvation. We lingered in the silence, then one by one we left, each of us extinguishing a bit of the candlelight.
Servanthood is sacred and scarey stuff.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I'm a big fan of Marc and Angel Hack Life and have really had some break-through this week on several tasks that just kept weighing me down but never getting done. Using this simple little list helps me organize my thoughts around what I most need to get done and gives me a place to focus. The thing I most miss from my premenopausal days is the ability to order my thoughts and organize tasks, and this has given me something I can get a handle on. Check out the article, and the printable templates!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
My sister and I saw "Wild Blessings: A Celebration of Wendell Berry" today at Actors Theatre of Louisville. I loved every delicious moment of it. You can read more about it here. The first words were The Mad Farmers Liberation Front and I got weepy and continued to be weepy throughout, so touched am I by his beautiful words.
I'm not sure that I had read The Blue Robe before, and maybe it speaks to my age that it touched me so, or the way the poems built up to that moment in the play, but I fell in love with it.
The Blue Robe
by Wendell Berry
How joyful to be together, alone
as when we first were joined
in our little house by the river
long ago, except that now we know
each other, as we did not then;
and now instead of two stories fumbling
to meet, we belong to one story
that the two, joining, made. And now
we touch each other with the tenderness
of mortals, who know themselves:
how joyful to feel the heart quake
at the sight of a grandmother,
old friend in the morning light,
beautiful in her blue robe!
And just in case there is anyone who doesn't know this amazing piece, I leave you with
The Mad Farmer's Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embracethe flag.
Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.