Tuesday, May 29, 2007
....and here's hoping everyone has a great week! SGTex spotted a cardinal nearby, and of course, I'm pretty excited about that. We don't have these where I come from. I am *so* impressed with Texas birds!
Also, our dear Elsie in Indiana sent a fun link with slides depicting the beauty of America. We enjoyed watching it this morning. Amazing! We're very blessed to live in such a wonderful place. Check it out over on our link list, and be sure to have your sound turned up. Thank you so much, Elsie!
Okay, time to coffee up and get on with this day.
at 9:03 AM
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Something to consider on Memorial Day....
"Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word " refrigeration" mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?
I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , "How about going to lunch in a half hour?" She would gasp and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!
We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit."
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.
My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and ha d only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? ;And why are you waiting?
Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you.
Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"?
When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over."
"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!"
Thanks for sharing these words to live by, Nancy!
Remembering those who've walked along side me on this journey for awhile, then went on ahead and crossed The River...
at 6:25 PM
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
....and the Queen said, "...a State Visit provides us with a brief opportunity to step back from our current preoccupations to reflect on the very essence of our relationship. It gives us the chance to look back at how the stories of our two countries have been inextricably woven together; it is the moment to take stock of our present friendship- rightly taking pleasure from its strengths, while never taking these for granted; and it is the time to look forward, jointly renewing our commitment to a more prosperous, safer and freer world."
Excerpted from the Queen's speech on her fifth visit to the USA.
I just thot that picture was kinda cute.
at 2:35 PM
Friday, May 11, 2007
Today I found an article on The Buddhist Channel, featuring what I would term “the Banyan of all Banyans.” See below for the link to that article.
This picture reminded me of some beautiful writing from the poet Tagore. I’ve provided the web address to a collection of his poems in our Link List.
Here’s hoping that there’s a healing for this lovely tree, so it may continue to bless those of us who are lucky enough to rest in its shade.
"O you shaggy-headed banyan tree standing on the bank of the pond, have you forgotten the little child, like the birds that have nested in your branches and left you?
Do you not remember how he sat at the window and wondered at the tangle of your roots that plunged underground?
The women would come to fill their jars in the pond, and your huge black shadow would wriggle on the water like sleep struggling to wake up.
Sunlight danced on the ripples like restless tiny shuttles weaving golden tapestry.
Two ducks swam by the weedy margin above their shadows, and the child would sit still and think.
He longed to be the wind and blow through your rustling branches, to be your shadow and lengthen with the day on the water, to be a bird and perch on your top-most twig, and to float like those ducks among the weeds and shadows." R. Tagore
“Faith Tree of Buddhism Not Keeping Well” http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=42,4109,0,0,1,0
at 6:56 PM
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
One of my earliest get-acquainted conversations with SGTex occurred at about this time of year, back in 2005, and the topic was Monkey Bread.
I think I was the one who responded to his mentioning having baked some and taken it to a meeting…all gooey-drizzly and no doubt utterly scrumptious, but I noticed and mentioned it had no raisins. Then organic bananas somehow made their way into the conversation, maybe referencing “simian”…or was it cinnamon?
So, this is an anniversary season for us, and I shall always be grateful for this man who knows his way around a kitchen (and he does, boy howdy)!
I won’t presume to pass on his recipe, but perhaps this will do as my little tribute to buns (this here sticky kind):
Nancy Reagan’s Monkey Bread
“Dissolve 1 pkg. Dry yeast in 1/2 c. milk. Add 2 eggs, beat, then mix in 3 T. sugar, 1 T. salt, 3 1/2 c. flour, and 1 c. milk, and blend thoroughly. Cut in 6 oz. butter, knead well, and let rise to double. Knead again, let rise again for 40 min. Roll dough onto floured board, shape into a log, and cut into 28 pieces. Shape each piece of dough into ball and roll in 1/2 lb. melted butter. Butter and flour two 9-in. ring molds, place 7 balls of dough in each mold, place remaining balls of dough on top, and let rise again. Brush tops with 1 beaten egg, bake for 15 min. at 375 degrees F.”
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 208)
at 1:59 PM
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Our Interfaith NDOP was of course very nice.
I didn't try to take any time off for it this year, just made a lunchtime dash of it. We parked a few blocks away and ran to the lovely little downtown park, arriving none too early! Padre Roz (who will be officiant at our wedding instead of Talon, now) was being TV interviewed off in a corner and at first I was having trouble spotting familiar faces, but then began to recognize some folks: Seymour and the other Jewish ole boy, the Presbyterian pastor who always brings the sound equipment, good old Heywood the Muslim chaplain, the Baha'i lady, Donna the semiagnostic Unitarian lady, and Paul the Catholic deacon...
The turnout was downright scant. We need to promote it more next year, or else try to take over the City Hall event again! But it was a splendid service, lovely weather for it and a very happy and peaceful and blessed mood. The prayers were most righteous and powerful, in this order: Baha'i, Anglican, Muslim, Protestant, Buddhist, Unitarian, Roman Catholic and Jewish. Unfortunately, Mrs. P the Hindi was not there this year, a pity because the prayers she sings are splendid.
I taped a sheet of paper with big block print NAM MYOHO RENGE KYO so people could tell what was being chanted, then said, "Thank you for attending, and thanks to the Interfaith Council once again for providing *this* kind of National Day of Prayer observance, representing genuine and lawful religious liberty..."
"In Nichiren Buddhism," I says, "the practice of prayer consists of reciting a sutra called Lotus of the Wonderful Law, truth so absolute and potent that its mere utterance transforms karma. We want good karma for Abilene and the United States, and we pray for peace and true justice throughout the world." Then I ding-dinged my little bell and briskly recited the Ji Ga Ge, a passage of verse from the Lotus Sutra that takes I guess 2-3 minutes, then chanted daimoku for less than a minute.
We concluded with the traditional breaking-bread-together ritual in which several circles of people of diverse faiths share a loaf. This year the bread was delicious homemade stuff with poppy seeds on it, baked at Temple Mizpah by Seymour's wife.
After minimal chitchat with some gentle folks, we took off right away because I had to get back to work. It was a wonderful occasion of faith and freedom.
Website suggested by our journalist friend Brian: http://www.religioustolerance.org/
Photo: Location of NDOP ceremony in our city
at 7:57 PM
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
This old Elton John tune just came on the radio and got me to thinking again about Atlanta, Idaho. When I saw this picture of The Hub, a flood of memories washed over me, and I actually had a pang of homesickness for the little town. Of course, I was never there in the snow. It was hot summertime whenever I visited.
The Hub was one of two businesses open in those days, the other being The Whistle Stop. It was where you went to use the radio (the only real means of communication with outside), could buy a few groceries or “fanny up to the bar” for a drink.
Leonard was the quintessential hillbilly, a very charming and friendly person. The Hub was his hangout above ground (his mine was a hole alongside a mountain road- I know, because I was there the day he'd over-imbibed and pulled the mine down in on himself. I'm not sure how long he laid there and yelled, until someone happened by and we got to come save him...)
Anyway, Leonard was always there to fanny up to the bar-any time of day, sometimes all day long. Music was always playing, and he really, really loved “Crocodile Rock.” It was dancing music to him, and if you appeared on the front porch or passed across his field of vision when it was playing, before you knew it, you and Leonard were dancing the croc rock. It happened more than once to me, lol.
Oh, and “Joy To The World.” That was another Leonard favorite. Not the Christmas version, either. I do have a couple of other Atlanta hillbilly stories, but for now, this will just have to do.
P.S. LOL. I almost forgot to sign this one...guess I could have let everyone believe it was SGTex up there dancin' w/ole Leonard... ;+)
at 2:57 PM
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I didn't think there would be anything about which to blog today. Really, there's not, except for the fact that I found this cute Maypole sketch and felt it must be put to some use, even this late in the day.
Actually, it was the best kind of morning (thank you, Sir). The day didn't really take a dip until the cyberfiends decided to wreak their havoc at my desk and have their evil way with the PC. I think we've gotten them whipped for the time being, so I'll just count on the last hour or so remaining calm, and we'll see what the morning brings.
I'm looking forward to the Nat'l Day of Prayer and having the chance to be with SGTex as he fulfills his responsibilities.
It's going to be a fine rest-of-the week. I'm absolutely sure of it.
at 9:08 PM