Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Peace

Sleep my child and peace attend thee,
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and vale in slumber sleeping,
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night.

While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
O'er thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling
All through the night.

Love, to thee my thoughts are turning
All through the night
All for thee my heart is yearning,
All through the night.
Though sad fate our lives may sever
Parting will not last forever,
There's a hope that leaves me never,
All through the night.



Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pass it on

So this morning on my drive to work, yesterday's song, "For Those Tears I Died," was stuck in my head, especially the chorus. Driving down Memory Lane, even though it looked like the Guide Meridian, I then remembered a song that we sang so often in my youth that it almost became tiresome.

In our denomination (the Christian Reformed Church) when I was growing up, what now is called a youth group was then called Young People's. My Young People's group from the area of Syracuse New York went on a Young People's retreat with some other Young People's in Upstate New York, maybe Rochester. I think we slept in sleeping bags in the church basement. And we attended the Sunday morning service where we contributed to the worship by singing "Pass It On." No one in Young People's needed a song book or printout of the words to sing that song. We knew it inside out. As a boy in my group muttered when we were told what we'd be doing, "You can't have a Young People's retreat without singing 'Pass It On.'"

I searched for it on Youtube and there were lots of videos where earnest people sang this song sincerely but not beautifully. And there was a video of "Evie" singing it that reminded me all over again that her style of singing is really not my cup of tea. And then I found this one:



Nice. Apparently this is a Gospel group from Australia, Endless Praise. They do the Southern Hemisphere proud.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Drops

Raindrops did keep falling on my head today, whenever I was out of doors. The ground is saturated and the ditches are full. A fairly typical Sunday, involving church, visiting my sister-in-law, and going to the grocery store.

Writing about rain drops made me remember a song I used to sing at the campfire at a Christian summer camp (Tonto Rim) when I was in middle school or junior high. The word "drops" was the trigger for my memory, but then I recalled the song was about tear drops not rain drops. It was "For Those Tears I Died." I googled it, and I found this video that has exactly the 70s vibe I recall, and a mid-song testimony, which was also very Christian campish:



Going to that camp was a wholesome enjoyment for me. It was not run by Christian Reformed people, but several girls my age from the Orangewood Christian Reformed Church would go. I know I went at least twice. I forget how long it was, too. A week? But I'm not sure I remember a Sunday there. Maybe five days? Hard to recall. That was a long time ago.

We would hike and counselors would teach us and talk to us about our faith. At meals there were standard jokes and songs. Every morning we sang, "Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory." I know one year we put on skits. And there were the nights we sat around the campfire and sang songs and I think the counselors would also share some of their testimonies. I had fun, I enjoyed the woods/camping aspect, I benefited from the instruction without being made uncomfortable by it, and when camp was over I was glad to get home, too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dusting

This morning, just as my dog and I set out on our walk, the sky started to deposit the infamous "wintry mix" on the landscape. There was no accumulation, just a dusting.

Hopefully this doesn't stick around long.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Electric blue sky

Tonight when I left work, it was only twilight instead of night time. It was night by the time I got home, but still that's an improvement.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Evening star

Beautiful crescent moon and Venus tonight.


Crossing the Bar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

1889

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The almost Benedictine way

I read once, and was impressed by, the Benedictine adage that after any encounter with another human being you should ask yourself, "Did I see Christ in him? Did he see Christ in me?"

So a while back I was dreading a meeting with a client. Could I see Christ in him? In a messed up and unpleasant person in the middle of a litigious and bitter divorce? Wouldn't it be almost blasphemous to see Him in that guise?

But then I came up with an alternative. I imagined that Christ told me, "Jan, I've got this friend who's kind of messed up and unpleasant. Sadly, he's in the middle of a litigious and bitter divorce. I know you're worried about your own issues, but could you help my friend out?" Believe it or not, that changed my heart toward Mr. John "messed up and unpleasant" Doe.

Can I rise above my self-centered concerns to help a friend of Jesus? Yes.

While I could not imagine my Lord as a messed up and unpleasant person, I could easily imagine that He has many friends who are messed up and unpleasant.

Ahem.

*Looks in mirror*

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Everybody loves raiment

Last week I was reaching up to the shelf in my closet, trying to get one particular shirt, when about half a dozen garments fell on my head. As I stood there, crowned with vesture, I thought, It's really time to go through my closet and get rid of things I don't wear anymore. So I added that to my mental list titled "Things I Really Should Do Around the House."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ta da!

Here's the clean driveway.

Spring training

Meanwhile, a crocus bloom has opened up on the pot of crocus I have inside, and more buds are coming up.


Here's the open bloom. So pretty.


When I was browsing the internet to read about crocus (and also to find out the correct plural form--according to Merriam-Webster, it's crocus or croci), I found out that the spice saffron is made from the reproductive parts of a certain breed of crocus.

A friend of mine in California made paella for his guests, of whom I was one, and the recipe included saffron. He mentioned it was expensive.

You kind of wonder who first thought of pulling the stigmas out of that one particular kind of flower and preparing it in a special way to add it to food.

Thawing

Today the temperature is up above freezing, in the 40s, so the snow is melting, but things are still slushy and slippery. I thought I should shovel our front walk and at least make a path to the mailbox for my parents.


Here is the front sidewalk cleared off.

Here is the path to the mailbox.
I ended up staying out there a couple hours and cleared off the whole driveway, but I didn't take a picture of the clean driveway before I came in. Maybe I'll get a picture when I go get coffee for me and my parents.

While I was working, I had my dog's leash hooked over the knob of the side door into the garage. Later my dad came out (safely walking on clean pavement to the mailbox) and took pity on him and brought him in to stay with them until I was done.

Patiently waiting.
Here's the other fun thing about winter weather. No wonder it's my fourth favorite season.

Sloppy boots.
Oh, well. It was a workout and a labor of love.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I know who holds tomorrow

I sent this to some cousins on Facebook last week:



It was one of those cases where I preached the message I myself needed to hear. As Jane Austen put it, in Persuasion, "When the evening was over, Anne could not but be amused at the idea of her coming to Lyme to preach patience and resignation to a young man whom she had never seen before; nor could she help fearing, on more serious reflection, that, like many other great moralists and preachers, she had been eloquent on a point in which her own conduct would ill bear examination."

Whenever I was able to drive in to work, I sang the first verse and chorus:

Verse 1
I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside him,
For he knows what is ahead.

Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

But I would be obliged to admit to myself that I was trying to borrow from tomorrow's sunshine and I did worry o'er the future.

Today as I was driving in to work, I sang it again, and this time it came true. There is one particular thing I'm hoping for that has caused me this worry o'er the future, but God blessed me with the realization that if I don't get what I hoped, there are still other paths I can take. I made Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D, and then I was able to lay Plan A before God's throne and leave it there. I worked all day without thinking much about it, and even now I still don't know the outcome. But I am at peace.

Verse 2
Every step is getting brighter,
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter;
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye,
At the ending of the rainbow,
Where the mountains touch the sky.

Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

Verse 3
I don't know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But his presence goes before me,
And I'm covered with his blood.

Chorus:
Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow," 1950
Lyrics and Composer: Ira Forest Stanphill (1914-1993)

As much as I've searched on the internet, I have not found a video or recording of all three verses. People seem to sing verse 1 and then either verse 2 or verse 3. I like them all. The language in verse 2 is perhaps a bit florid. "At the ending of the rainbow" sounds more Land of Oz than Kingdom of God, but I like it anyway. What is the dream of Oz but a longing for the Kingdom of God?

Learn the tune and then sing all three verses, and God bless us every one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Looking on the bright side

So a blizzard rages out of doors, but a tiny bit of spring is in a pot on my dishwasher. Here is a potted plant I bought at Safeway this weekend:



And here, closer up, is the flower that is emerging from its sheath:


It's a crocus, in case you were wondering. Crocus are the first flowers to come up outside in the real spring. This is a preview of spring. A teaser.

When will the storm be over?

Took my dog out for his evening walk. Both this evening and this morning he was disconcerted by the strong, cold winds we're having. Even he was willing to just do his business and go back home. I did not wear gloves because I planned to be out such a short time, and tonight, after just a few minutes, my fingers were actually painful from the cold.

All the online news items I'm reading about this storm talk like it's over but it's not over where I live.

Perhaps if someone would sing,
it would be over.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

I mentioned last night that the weather was frightful. Here is video of what is happening over and over today.


video

I stayed home from work. If it's blowing like this in our back yard, which is relatively sheltered, it's far worse out on the Guide or the Hannegan with the wind screaming straight out of the Fraser Valley and across the open countryside.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Big and fluffy

We received some more snow overnight. I took this picture before my dog and I tromped over it:


On Friday night, my great-nephew was hoping for significant snowfall so that he could build a snow fort. I hope this satisfies him. I asked him if he was hoping for a snow day from school (as I always did), but he said no, because then they tack on a day at the end of the year. So he's already grown-up enough to see long-term effects, though still young enough to want to build a snow fort. That's probably a good age to be. I did not share with him that in my ill-spent high school days I always hoped for a snow day so that it would pay off for me not to do my homework. Sometimes I took the gamble of not doing it in hopes of a snow day. If the snow day failed me, then during my morning classes I did homework that was due in my afternoon classes. I was what's known as an underachiever in high school.

This afternoon, it snowed some more -- big, fluffy flakes. I thought of that old fast food commercial: "It's big bun." "A big, fluffy bun." "Where's the BEEF?"



Here are the big, fluffy flakes:

video

I guess deep in my heart of hearts, I still would like to get a snow day. Today it was unnecessary, as it's a holiday. Today in the U.S. we honor the great civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a great man, worthy of honor, but that's another topic.

Meanwhile, here's a peaceful picture of snowfall in our back yard:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow

Had a nice little chat with my sister this evening, so that I could air some concerns and put my mind in order. I feel sorry for women who don't have a sister. Second best would be a friend who's like a sister, with whom you have built a lasting friendship, but no one knows you like someone who grew up in the same home with you and you've known each other for as long as you can remember (or maybe she remembers before she knew me, but I bet not much).

It made me think of in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth was able to talk over some things with her sister Jane ("Elizabeth's impatience to acquaint Jane with what had happened could no longer be overcome") and, after they talked, Elizabeth said, "I was very uncomfortable. I may say unhappy. And with no one to speak to of what I felt, no Jane to comfort me and say that I had not been so very weak and vain and nonsensical as I knew I had! Oh! how I wanted you!"



Jane Austen herself had a sister she was very close to, Cassandra. When Jane Austen died, Cassandra Austen wrote to their niece, Fanny, "I have lost a treasure, such a sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed. She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow; I had not a thought concealed from her, and it is as if I had lost a part of myself."

Such a friend as never can have been surpassed

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weather report

Overnight we received a very tiny bit of snow. Here is the deck, after my dog and I walked across it on our way to start his morning walk:


Side note: Every winter when it snows, it's a fresh discovery to me that I walk with my toes pointed out a bit. I'm the opposite of pigeon-toed.

The temperature was above freezing this morning. Under the noble fir tree, you could hear the melting snow dripping:



The snow was heavy, wet, and slushy.



A significant amount disappeared during the sunlit hours, but when a significant amount also remained by the time the sun went down. The temperature dropped below freezing, the slush froze and became crunchy, and damp spots on the pavement became black ice. We might get more snow tonight and over the next few days, although they use words like "light" and "flurries," so I guess we won't get deep accumulation. Looks like cold temperatures for a while, though.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not lost

Well, I did get a good night's sleep last night, so I was not drowsy on my home. Still, I missed my exit on the freeway. I usually get on Highway 5 to go home. For a long time I took the Guide Meridian exit and drive the Guide to Lynden.

That reminded me of the years we lived in Phoenix, Arizona, when I was a girl, and we would drive Highway 5 from Southern California all the way to Bellingham and take that very exit to get to Lynden. I would be very excited at that point--if I was awake.

Side track thought: We'd always plan to drive x number of days from Phoenix to Lynden but my parents always decided on day x - 1 to drive straight through the night to Lynden. We would arrive at my Grandma's little house on Hawley Street in the deep dark hours and stumble into the house and into bed. Then the happiness of waking up in the morning in Lynden. We had such lovely long vacations there, too. Since my dad was in the military, he had 30 days of leave per year. Did we spend all 30 on our visits to Lynden? Seems like it. And I was young enough that 30 days felt like a long time. End of side track thought.

But during the pre-Christmas season this winter I stopped taking that exit. Traffic was heavy and slow by the shopping mall and Costco, it was dark, and driving conditions were difficult to be in the congestion. The exit is ill-designed as well. When you get off the exit ramp onto the Guide you are immediately in an exit-only right lane and have to switch lanes to the left to keep going straight. Meanwhile, people pulling up behind you want to get into the exit lane.

So I started taking the Northwest Avenue exit, the next one north, then turning right onto Bakerview and taking Bakerview to the Guide at just the other side of the shopping mall. Sometimes I would miss the right turn onto Bakerview but then immediately turn around and come back to it. That is because I seem to recall getting lost off Northwest once and ending up driving around on the Lummi Reservation for quite some time. But eventually, due to a recent conversation with my sister-in-law and a longer ago conversation with an aunt, I realized if I stayed on Northwest I could catch another road to the Guide, like Axton or Pole, and finally I experimented with my belief that if I stayed on Northwest forever it would turn into Wiser Lake Road and bring me to the Guide very near Lynden, and it turned out my belief was correct. So that's how I've been going home lately.

But tonight I drove past the Northwest exit and didn't realize it until I was driving past the Bakerview exit, at which point I exclaimed, "What! Did I miss the Northwest exit?" Yes, yes, I did. "Well," said I, "I guess I'll have to take the Birch Bay Lynden exit, although that is a bit out of my way." But then I remembered that there is a way to Lynden even from the Gates of Ferndale. So when I got to Ferndale, I was cautious. Not the Main Street/City Center exit. That's a weird exit, too, with a long frontage road. I can barely find my way to the Denny's that is right there, much less to Lynden. Then the next exit was Portal Way. Was that it? If not, would I spend much of the evening driving around the north county in the dark? I had a full tank of gas, so I risked it. I thought would turn into the Enterprise Road and take me to the Birch Bay Lynden Road much nearer Lynden than the freeway exit. I couldn't tell if it did turn into Enterprise, but it did bring me to the Birch Bay Lynden Road, and I proceeded to Lynden in triumph. I can find my way around the north county! Even in the dark I know which direction the mountains are in (that would be east in some dialects), which direction the water is in (aka west), and which direction Canada is in (some people call that direction north).

But I'd better not boast or next thing you know tomorrow night I'll be driving around the north county in the dark, wondering where I am.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The dozey drive home

I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up for quite some time in the small hours. I did okay at work, but driving the long, straight, dark stretch on the way home, I was struggling with drowsiness. I hope that now I am tired enough to fall asleep right away and sleep till morning.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Car talk

Friday evening when I drove over to my sister-in-law's, my niece's husband came out of the barn and told me I should get my brake pads replaced because of the metal-on-metal noise they were making. He said that was a warning the brake pads were wearing out. I appreciated the tip.

It made me remember when my brother Dan was in his final days. At that time, my car had a bad muffler, so that it was very noisy when I drove around. Dan had very little strength (he had ALS) but after one of my last visits, perhaps the last, my sister-in-law told me that as I was driving away, Dan was murmuring about my car and concerned about my getting it fixed.

That was Dan. He was very much a big brother, wanting to make sure that his sister's car would run okay, even as he neared death. He would have liked to have fixed everybody's problems before he died. When we were kids, I found his older-brotherliness overbearing, but when we were grownups, what had been (or seemed like) bossiness changed to active care for my well-being, and I appreciated it.


Big brother was watching out for me
I did eventually get my muffler fixed, probably with the help of another wonderful guy, and that's my dad. Now I'll get the brakes fixed with Dad's help again. I've got some good guys in my family.

Good Monday

Today was a pretty good day. I accomplished an important goal I set myself, so that was a spirit-booster. Trying to "live in the now."

Know You in the Now, by Michael Card:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Augh

Good grief, Sunday night already? And soon I'll go to bed, which means the next thing to happen will be Monday morning.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A clean sweep

Well, I drove the tree to the school and they took it off my hands. Then I came home and swept up the needles, put the furniture back in place -- including bringing back from the guest room the rocking chair, end table, and lamp whose place the Christmas tree had usurped. I put the boxes of ornaments in the furnace room, boxed up my Nativity set, and put my advent wreath, tree topper, and nutcracker into their boxes, put everything in the furnace room, brought back out items that had been displaced for Christmas decorations, threw the red tablecloth into the wash and now Christmas is completely gone from my house.

I've read that for Anglicans the time between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday is the season of Epiphany while for Catholics Epiphany is one day only and from then until Ash Wednesday is ordinary time. I feel Catholic about the time right now.

Christmas really is over

Well, I've got the Christmas tree down, out the door, dragged up the outside steps, and heaved into my dad's pickup. Now it's Miller time. Not really. It's time for coffee and pop tarts. Then I'll get the keys from my dad and drive the tree to the Christian school parking lot, where they are accepting them from 8:00 to noon.

I talked to my sister-in-law last night about needing to get the lights off then get it out to the curb before bed, so that the Boy Scouts could pick it up at the "butt-crack of dawn," as my nephew calls it. She said that in the Lynden Tribune it said you could take them to the school in the morning. That gave me the option to procrastinate overnight, so of course that's what I chose. In my own defense, I was worn out last night. This morning, after sleeping in good and long, I had the energy to tackle the job. I had to push furniture around to make room to drag the tree into the middle of the room so I could walk around it unwinding the strings of lights. Another strenuous job was popping it through the door. The bottom branches were a bit too wide to fit easily. Got 'er done, and toweled up the water that spilled out of the stand in the process. The furniture is still displaced and there are still copious needles on the floor, but that can wait.

I have to get the tree disposed of, bring back the pickup, take a shower, then go to my hair appointment, then have coffee with my folks. I have a very busy day ahead.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thank goodness it's Friday

Too tired after the work week to blog much. Stressful week and particularly a long stressful Friday -- just lots of work to try to get done before leaving, and leaving late. Soooo ready for the weekend. But in lieu of much writing a picture of my deck from Christmas weekend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh, tannenbaum

Tonight I un-decorated my Christmas tree, which is always a somewhat melancholy task. I had to do it tonight. I got everything off but the lights. Tomorrow night, I'll pull off the light strands, which will create showers of needles on the floor, then drag it out the door, which will create more showers of needles, take off the stand, and drag the tree to the curb. Saturday morning, the Boy Scouts will pick it up. They do that every year on the Saturday after New Year's.

Tomorrow night, I won't have time for all the removing each ball; that's why I had to do it tonight. I have been procrastinating (so unlike me!) because the thought of getting out a dozen or more little boxes that the decorations came in and returning each carefully to its source just seemed overwhelming. So, to get it done, I took two cardboard boxes, one from Amazon and one from Land's End, and just put all the decorations in them any old way. So much simpler. I could promise myself to sort them out properly later, but I know that will never happen. Hopefully they don't suffer too much damage sitting cheek by jowl all jumbled together for a year.

A fitting day to un-Christmas-decorate, as tomorrow is Epiphany. Today was the twelfth, and last, day of Christmas. Twelve lords a-leaping. I guess that's better than leapin' lizards.

Leapin' lizards, Sandy!
Tomorrow's Friday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Heavy rain

Tonight the rain nicely held off most of my evening commute, but when I walked the dog it was pouring. We get a lot of rain in western Washington, but typically it's light rain, even just heavy mist. It's the rain you can walk in without getting wet, but tonight I walked in it and got soaked. It was heavy rain, sheets and curtains of rain. Even my dog, who is usually impervious to weather, found it too much and turned around early in the walk to come back home. And he found a sheltered place by the wall of our house to "do his business" out of the elements. (TMI, I know.) I don't see any flood warnings, though, for any of the local rivers. I would be most concerned about the Nooksack.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Clear and cold

Well, today I got some clarity into my job situation. It wasn't the clear vision I'd hoped for, but at least it was a clear view of reality. Now I'll know how to proceed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tuesday is the new Monday

Are we sick of that yet? Saying, "Something is the new something else"? I think the first time I heard it was, "Forty is the new thirty." Then there's the classic line from Legally Blonde, "Whoever said, 'Orange is the new pink' was seriously disturbed."

Speaking of the passage of time, I'm behind in making my New Year's Resolutions. It's January 2 already and I still just have a few floating in my mind but I haven't made a real list. I don't always make resolutions, but I thought I might this year. Maybe I could make a resolution to make resolutions in a more timely manner.

Reminds me of the joke about how one is going to join the Procrastinator's Club but one just hasn't gotten around to it yet.

Anyway, tomorrow will feel sort of like Monday to me because it will be the first workday of the week, but it will remain like Tuesday in being just four days from Friday.

Meanwhile, here's the classic New Year's Psalm. One year I suggested reading it on New Year's Eve, but my dad wasn't into it because of all the withering away like grass stuff. I like the request to teach us to number our days so that we can acquire a heart of wisdom and also to establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 90

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, "Return, ye children of men."

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Progess report

I'm getting closer to finishing this pillow I've been working on for more than a year. I mainly work on it on Sunday afternoons at my sister-in-law's. I need to do one more rose, the scroll pattern, and then fill in the rest of the white.


Then I'll have to order a pillow back from The Stitchery, where I got the pattern, and also find a pillow insert. And I'll have a lovely pillow.

Wintry sun

I love to see sunlight through a window, especially one with leaded glass. It reminds me of churches and monasteries.


I went outside to look at my dear St. Francis. Today has wintry sunlight, cold temperature, and a chilling northeast wind.


When I go outside, my most faithful friend watches me through the window. He wants me to come back in. I soon did.

At the gate of the year

January 1, 2012
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year,
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth and, finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

From the poem "God Knows" (1908) by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)