Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

This explains to me what is happening in our culture. It still makes me sad. I don't understand the hatefulness--but I do understand how it turns things inside out and upside down.

Makes me look forward to Thursday.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


(during the sunny weather last week, we pulled out
the chair cushions. guess who found them....)

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.

~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton ~

I don't seem to be inspired to speak much lately. Perhaps this is a fallow time and keeping silent is the right thing to do. Certainly, I do not feel a lack of divine light and life...for this is my year of grace.

Monday, March 29, 2010


(not too many meals missed here)
People cannot contribute to the nation if they are never taught to read or write, if their bodies are stunted from hunger, if their sickness goes untended, if their life is spent in hopeless poverty just drawing a welfare check. So we want to open the gates to opportunity. But we're also going to give all our people, black and white, the help that they need to walk through those gates.

~ Lyndon B. Johnson ~

from his speech, "We Shall Overcome,"
given to Congress on March 15, 1965,
after racial violence broke out in
Selma, Alabama

Forty-five years and two weeks ago, he gave this speech. We have a long way to go to rectify the situation.

A step at at time.

May all your needs be met today.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

more wedding

(the cracks in the floor that the ring could have fallen through)

(my handsome brother and his three beautiful daughters)

(the whole wedding party)

(...and david's wonderful smile)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

the happy couple

(david and melinda--david has a beautiful smile...really)

Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success.

~ Oscar Wilde ~

Wednesday...70 degrees and sunny. Friday...the same. Thursday? Rain. That's right. Rain for the wedding day. However, we had a plan B and almost everyone stayed almost dry most of the time.

I haven't downloaded my pictures yet. This one I snapped with my phone camera and emailed to my blog so I would have something to post and something to send to my sister who couldn't make it out here for the wedding.

I posted this to tease David because he was so nervous and this picture captures a little bit of that shell shocked look. Really--he has a wonderfully bright smile and he lights up. And Melinda was stunning!

The only obvious snafu was when I dropped her ring. That's right. Unfortunately, the building was a restored and converted barn--that had huge cracks between the floor boards. Fortunately, the ring bounced and rolled and the groomsman picked it up for me. Whew. At least I didn't have to crawl under the building with a flashlight to find the missing diamond ring.

May Melinda and David have many happy years together! (And thanks for a fun party.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

if you are interested...

Cowtown Pattie over at Texas Trifles linked to this article. It's worth looking at.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

love thursday 03.25.10 ~ wedding

(mijo sitting in the ditch that contains the bamboo)

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.

~ Amy Bloom ~

What better day for a wedding than Love Thursday? Today I perform the ceremony for my niece and her beloved. Congratulations Melinda and David!

(And Lance, happy birthday....)

What are you celebrating today?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Right from the moment of our birth, we are under the care and kindness of our parents, and then later on in our life when we are oppressed by sickness and become old, we are again dependent on the kindness of others. Since at the beginning and end of our lives we are so dependent on others' kindness, how can it be in ...the middle that we would neglect kindness towards others?

~ HH Dalai Lama ~

Here's what I know. I have had occasion to be caregiver to more than one person in need. I haven't always known all of their politics or religion. Those things didn't matter at the time.

What mattered is that they had the need and I could show up.

That's all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself -- that is to say, risking oneself. If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving.

~ James Baldwin ~
from his book The Fire Next Time

I am really pleased that the health care reform bill passed...for a number of personal reasons. I realize that many people are not so happy about it. I am related to a number of them and their comments on Facebook exhibit their fears and concerns. I understand.

Here's what I don't understand:

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that people don't want to pay for someone else's health care. I guess the assumption is that if you don't have health care, it is through some fault of your own--but that is only a guess.

The part I don't understand is that many of the complainers call themselves Christian and they don't want to give a hand up to someone in need.

Glenn Beck (not my relative, and I do thank God for that) has told people that if they go to a church where the minister preaches "social justice" that they should leave that church and go somewhere else.


Jesus was all about social justice. And helping people in need. And sharing the wealth. And loving the other as we love ourselves.

Maybe...maybe these friends and relatives have never been without health care or known what it is like to live on the edge of (or in) poverty. Getting out is not as simple as getting a job.

Maybe they have never been sick or been denied coverage. For them, I am glad.

Maybe they have never had to make the choice between paying their medical bills or their rent or buying food. Hallelujah.

I do know these things.

I am trying to have compassion for their point of view and their fears that something might be taken from them. I get it. And may they find the grace to stand in someone else's shoes for just a moment and understand that not everyone who is in need is a slacker or a degenerate who is looking for a free ride. Sometimes people get sick--through no fault of their own. It could happen to anyone. Anyone. At. Any. Time.

Here's the risk I am taking: I am speaking my truth.

I needed this bill to pass. I know others who needed this bill to pass.

And you know what? As happy as I am that it passed, I am also heartbroken at the name calling and blaming and lack of generosity of spirit from fellow Christians.

If you want to share your truth, I am listening.

Monday, March 22, 2010

true self

(look at that little pink tongue)

True self, when violated, will always resist us, sometimes at great cost, holding our lives in check until we honor its truth.

~ Parker Palmer ~
from his book, Let Your Life Speak

I'm finding my voice. Bit by bit. My truth. It feels good.

I received an email from a relative about the health care reform legislation. The quoted piece averred that it had been verified by Snopes, implying that it was true. In fact, it was an opinion piece written by a retired constitutional law professor, full of hyperbole and interpretation. Snopes simply stated that the attribution of the article was correct and went on to say that some experts agree with him...some don't.

I couldn't stand silent and let this email go unchallenged, as if it were Truth instead of opinion. What I was most proud of was my impulse control. I didn't assert my first reaction, which was, "What a bunch of bullshit! This guy is making things up."

Instead, I was able to respectfully point out that this was an opinion piece--not fact; and I went on to explain why I support health care reform. I gave some of my own logic and my own reasons for why this reform was / is so important to me. No hyperbole. My truth. My experience.

I didn't blurt--but I did speak up. And I feel better for having done so.

Sunday, March 21, 2010



There are limits to self-indulgence, none to restraint.

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

It is amazing what some people will do for their own benefit.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


(on another note...this is the first thing i saw when i got up this morning)

You are about to see a side of me that I am not proud of.

If you read Pioneer Woman, you already know this. If you don't read her blog, check this out. I'll wait.

That's right. She sold the movie rights to her story from her blog! She hasn't finished writing the book yet. There is no screenplay--because there is no book yet. And Reese Witherspoon is considering playing Ree in the movie.


I am envious. I choose that word carefully. I'm not jealous. I don't want Ree not to have all these things. I am envious of her success. What a dynamo. I am sure if I were ever to meet her I would love her.

I am happy for her. Truly, I am.

Envious. Yep--me. According to "Make a Celebrity Collage," if someone were to play me in a movie... would be Ray Liotta.

Friday, March 19, 2010

happy marriage

A happy marriage is the union of two forgivers.

~ Ruth Bell Graham ~
poet, philanthropist,
and wife of evangelist Billy Graham

I agree.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

love thursday 03.18.10 ~ brotherly love

When we think about laying down a life for another we usually think in terms of a singular event. But it is possible for us to lay down our lives over the course of a lifetime, minute by minute and day by day. And it is the work of the Spirit to empower us as we seek to lose ourselves in acts of lovingkindness and sacrificial living.

~ Elaine Puckett~
professor at Candler School of Theology
in Atlanta, Georgia

No words.

Happy Love Thursday!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

st. patrick

No, this isn't Saint Patrick. But today is his day and this is the best facsimile I have.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


We suffer from an incurable malady: hope.

~ Mahmoud Darwish ~
Palestinian poet

I'm twisted.

[Stop agreeing. That's not what I meant.]

Literally, I am twisted. When I stand up with my toes pointing forward, my upper body points at 10 o'clock. The good news is that I am not in least not any more than usual.

I'm telling you this in case you see me coming. You see, my right boob precedes me. I am--well...wide enough that even though my sternum is at 10 o'clock, my right girl is dead ahead at 12 o'clock. I look down at my front with my jacket open and, sure enough, there she is.

So if you see me approaching, leading with my right boob, don't be alarmed. It is nothing personal. I am not making a point or anything. [Heh heh heh. Take that any way you want.]

The other good news is that I do have a cracklepractor appointment scheduled...just not soon enough.

Monday, March 15, 2010

plan b

In answer to your question, Carrie....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

know when and what...and when not to

(view through the bathroom window)

To me, the worst thing would be that out of naiveté, or out of stupidity, or out of fear, you didn't know when to speak or you didn't know what to say. What I ask from God is that He illuminate me so that I can do what I need to do.

~ Father Miguel Lopez ~
on his ministry in Michoacan, Mexico,
a state where the violence of
the narcotics trade leads
to assassinations, kidnappings,
and extortion.

(Washington Post)

When I was little, I would sometimes get in trouble for things I would say. Given that I am an enneagram 8, bluntness is hard-wired in me. That has its advantages and disadvantages.

Learning not to say everything that crosses my mind and learning some tactfulness has been a great benefit. However, sometimes I blurt.

I continue to pray that not only my feet but my mind and my lips be guided by the Divine. God has no small challenge steering me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

too big

It's official. They are now too big to fit in the same sink together.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.

~ Helen Keller ~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

love thursday 03.11.10 ~ loving your enemies

Time is cluttered with the wreckage of communities which surrendered to hatred and violence. For the salvation of our nation and the salvation of mankind, we must follow another way. This does not mean that we abandon our righteous efforts. With every ounce of our energy we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the beloved community.

To our most bitter opponents we say: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Every man's [or woman's] work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself [herself].

~ Samuel Butler ~
(1835-1902) English Writer
[my brackets]

Okay. So I'm inviting you. What does this say about me? Am I a cat?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.

~ Will Rogers ~

Some of us turn our backs on our odometers. I have never worried about age. I have always felt pretty much like I was 35 to 40. When I was younger, I felt older. Now that I am way past 40, I still feel 35 to 40.

That is a grace I am noticing this year.

Years ago--probably about 25--I read The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East. This is a series of five books that were written in the 20s about an expedition to...well, the Far East. During that trip, the travelers met yogis and teachers and even spiritual beings who were long gone from the human incarnation--like Mary and Jesus.

When a departed master appeared, he or she always appeared in the human form that looked to be 35 to 40. The only time someone appeared in an older visage or facade was if doing so would allow others to recognize them because that is how they were known to us. Apparently 35 or 40 is our prime--mature and not yet decrepit.

Maybe what I am feeling is not an age at all. Maybe what I am feeling is my soul.

Monday, March 08, 2010

the edge

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.

~ Kurt Vonnegut~
from his first novel, Player Piano

I'm not sure I have ever been a centrist in my life. Pick an extreme. That's often where you'll find me.

It's a lot more fun to be on the ends when you play Crack the Whip.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

to everything there is a season

I want to keep my soul fertile for changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it's time for them to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not read the same page recurrently.

~ Donald Miller ~
from his book, Through Painted Deserts

I am so looking forward to something new. I don't have a specific in mind--just something new. Even a new idea would be a delight at this point.

Spring cannot come too soon for me.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

may we all be forgotten

May we all be forgotten

By Paulo Coelho

In the monastery of Sceta, Abbot Lucas gathered the brothers together for a sermon.

"May you all be forgotten," he said.

"But why?" one of the brothers asked. "Does that mean that our example can never serve to help someone in need?"

"In the days when everyone was just, no one paid any attention to people who behaved in an exemplary manner," replied the abbot.

"Everyone did their best, never thinking that by behaving thus they were doing their duty by their brother. They loved their neighbour because they understood that this was part of life and they were merely obeying a law of nature.

“They shared their possessions in order not to accumulate more than they could carry, for journeys lasted a whole lifetime.

“They lived together in freedom, giving and receiving, making no demands on others and blaming no one.

“That is why their deeds were never spoken of and that is why they left no stories. If only we could achieve the same thing now: to make goodness such an ordinary thing that there would be no need to praise those who practise it.”

Friday, March 05, 2010


I do not at all understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

~ Anne Lamott ~
from her book, Traveling Mercies

Grace. My word of the year. I love to be reminded of it and caused to reflect.

Mystery. Yes. From the same origins as "mystic"...and I am one.

A mystery is something that is a puzzle--not obvious at first glance. A mystic is one who knows God through personal experience--through relationship.

By grace we know God and have a personal relationship. By personal relationship we know grace.

May you have a grace-full day.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

love thursday 03.04.10 ~ happy birthday, mom

happy birthday, mom

Love is or it ain't. Thin love ain't love at all.

~ Toni Morrison ~
writer and winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature

Ain't nobody I love like my mama. And ain't nobody loves me like my mama. What more is there to say?

Happy birthday!

I love you.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul.

~ Virginia Woolf ~
from her essay, "Montaigne"

Let me just say, no conformists reside here. We are a household of individuals and free spirits.

On this, I must agree with Virginia. Not that there is anything wrong with conforming if, indeed, the act matches one's own personal state. But, conforming for the sake of being like everyone else? Never. Works. Not when it comes to one's well-being.

I am not truly far off the beaten path. Yet, wearing a uniform has never worked for me. Oh, one summer, I wore the uniform of a Dairy Queen employee. That's about it.

How about you? Conform? Or not?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

is that so wrong?

I have never been a millionaire, but I have enjoyed a great meal, a crackling fire, a glorious sunset, a walk with a friend, a hug from a child, a cup of soup, a kiss behind the ear. There are plenty of life's tiny delights for all of us.

~ Jack Anthony ~

All of that is true...

...and I'd still like to be a millionaire.

Monday, March 01, 2010

in the crook of his arm

what you can't see is that mijo is lying
on his back in the crook of my arm

One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along.

~ Michelle Blake ~
from her novel, The Tentmaker

Surely, there is a metaphor in here somewhere.

Something like...

We can't see who is holding us...or even that anyone is. Yet, God has us in the crook of His arm--always.