lenten ketchup

February 26, 2009

As we prepared to leave the restaurant tonight, Maggie looked up at me and solemnly thanked me for the ketchup bowl. I had to compliment her gratitude before I could give a more simple “You’re welcome.” Her five-year-old sensibilities really are impressive: she was referring to the fact that, when she lamented the lack of a bowl to put ketchup in for fry-dipping purposes, I had emptied my salad dressing container in order to present it to her as a ketchup bowl. Considering the fact that we had just come from an Ash Wednesday service, I find myself amused now at our dinner table conversation about a plan to train poodles to jump through hula hoops . . .
That said, it did not seem incongruous somehow, lack of lenten fasting notwithstanding: it was quite a beautiful service about the importance of fasting for all believers, in an abstaining sense if not specific to physical nourishment. As a tactile person, I was particularly impacted by portion when we proceed up to the front for a forehead cross of ash given by the priest, with a benediction.
Being moved to tears by a liturgical reading one moment to laughing about poodles the next . . . it is all a part of the walk of faith, is it not?

has spring sprung?

February 23, 2009

This particular bush seems to think so . . . and I, for one, am not complaining. Being able to pick fresh blooms from my yard, in February, is a strange, and enjoyable, luxury.

sweet whispers

February 21, 2009

Lord, break my heart.
I have spoken, whispered, these words to myself for the past year and a half or so, not knowing why. It has been a mysterious mantra, welling up from some unknown cavern of my soul. I felt strange, knowing my oddity. But I have succumbed to the words all the same, continuing to whisper them at random moments . . .
And so this week I cried with joy at the realization that I understand—I think—the words I have been speaking . . . the words that have been spoken to me.
I have been trudging through my faith, running so fervently to serve God that I did not notice that my eyes were no longer on Him.
My heart was cold. And I did not know why. All I knew was that I had some vague memories of days when I was consumed by a love for God, days when I could weep with joy at His goodness, at His closeness.
But no more. That must have been my youth, I figured. I must be a good, responsible adult now. I must have a good job. I must justify my existence on this planet by serving others. I must pull my weight, and make ends meet . . I must . . . I should . . .
In some hidden recess of my heart I could feel nudges of the truth of my old self peeking through. But I resigned myself to this new, practical version of me.
Until now. Until this week when I accepted the nudgings and listened to the persistent voice of my God. Of the God I have always known as Abba, Father. Of the God who delights in closeness, and who wants me to know that depth of love for Him.
I have spent the week with a sense of an awakened love affair, floating in that in-love feeling. That said, I am well aware that feelings such as this can come and go. But for now it is enough for me to know that He is faithful in answering prayers, that I am indeed His beloved, and that He is mine.
This photo is one that I snapped this afternoon, on sunset walk during which I was explaining these feelings to a dear friend. As we walked, and as I jabbered on, I suddenly paused and, noticing her beauty as the sun shone on her profile, I warned her that I just had to capture it—she kindly obliged ☺

in all seriousness

February 16, 2009

This morning I listened to a radio interview on the topic of Play. This researcher has spent decades studying the importance of play, for adults as well as for children. The idea, basically, is that play should not be considered an optional luxury; rather, we has humans need it . . . it should be serious business [pun intended :-)].
I happen to agree. So the sight of Ian on the swing when I came home this afternoon seemed a fitting photo for the day. And it had me musing on the topic as I washed windows; which, incidentally, felt rather like play for me, in that I do love the methodically soothing nature of that sort of work. Reading is another form of play for me, if you think of play as anything that allows you to lose track of time and get lost in the moment.
I’m curious for you out there in blogging readership land: what sorts of play do you enjoy, and need to make time for? And then, your “homework” is to go do it–make the time and know you need it!

if the part fits

February 13, 2009

WIth embarrassingly little work on my part, my grandfather and I successfully jimmied the garage door back into working condition yesterday. He is truly a fix-it genius . . . and, in fact, my hero. Considering the fact that this type of garage door is no longer being made, I think it’s pretty darn impressive that he was able to find the replacement cable that would fit just right, even though not made for such a purpose.
So my grandpa climbed up and down the ladder, carefully refitting bolts and rewiring cables. And I stood there awaiting his calls for a needed nut of a holding of a cable. My only lasting contribution was probably the use of a wrench to clamp down to size the offendingly wide steel loop . . . but I clamped it too far, so it actually had to then be widened!
Suffice it to say that i probably cannot justifiably blame my garage door for the fact that I barely made it on time for the lecture I was giving yesterday evening. Thankfully, local librarians are remarkably laid-back about such things . . . surprisingly so, perhaps?

still a gem

February 10, 2009

“Incredible!” My grandpa beamed as he paused in his steering directions to me. I poked my head out of the open window to see what he was talking about, and then saw that I had precisely enough space in between the car’s bumper and the garage wall to squeeze past. Hold that thought!, I replied, popping the car into neutral and dashing into my apartment. Emerging with my camera, I grinned and explained that I had to document the event.
Sharing a laugh afterwards, we lauded the merits of my perfect Pearl . . . this seemingly flawless car that has served me so well over the years. Only in this little Toyota could I have conquered the dilemma of a trapped car in a hopelessly shut garage door–not only was the electric pulley broken, but the manual override latch had also snapped . . . Pearl was trapped!
But no. Thanks to PaCharley’s skilled directives, a bit of mutual problem-solving, and some shifting of stored furniture and a surprisingly light trailer, I was able to maneuver Pearl out of the other, parallel garage door . . . So much for that manicure splurge :-)

Gee whiz, I’m beat! So much to accomplish today: a new friend to meet and discuss the relative merits of kitty cats and tigers with . . . gourmet mac and cheese to dine on . . . My Little Ponies to bathe in the bathroom sink . . . Ranger Rick to be read . . . a potty to be peed in–well, some of the time, at least . . . “Heffalumps and Woozles” to be sung . . . and the day is only half-done! Being two is hard work!

simply a shed

February 1, 2009

As I took out the compost pail, I passed this little gem of a shed and just had to stop and admire its artwork . . . one of those happy discoveries, for me, of being caught unawares by an unexpected beauty :-)