Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I am saddened to say good-bye to our hummingbirds, Hummer and Mazda. Last night I took our little flowerbox feeder down, emptied it, and didn't put it back. Mazda will come and look to eat and there will be no nectar waiting for her. It makes me sad. But I do this because it's time, time for them to leave for the south and more warmer climes. The cold temps are on their way here and so I had to...take down the feeder. And it makes me sad to say good-bye in such a way. And I wonder, what does she think, when she flits by and there is no nectar? Perhaps, she is hungry and now there is no food for her. But I have to relinquish my care for them and let them go their winter's way. No more will they flit and hover nearby. They drained the Bee Balm long ago and their brown bald heads remind me, it is that time, to say good-bye, to let go. I will feel better tomorrow, knowing they are winging their way to where it is warmer and food more plentiful. But for today, I honor my sadness, for that is fall's lesson - to let go, surrender, relinquish and to acknowlege and honor the sadness inherent to that. Tomorrow, I will look forward to the hummingbird's return in the spring and putting the feeder in my flowerbox full of fresh, red sweet nectar and welcoming them back with a refreshing and satisfying meal at the end of their journey back. But for now, I grieve their leaving...

Monday, September 29, 2008


Had Presbytery meeting on Saturday. Drove 2 hours to get to the meeting. Stayed four hours. Drove 2 hours home in time to check mail before dinner. Would've been a nicer drive in a couple weeks when the trees would be peaking with their fall color. I stopped at a pottery place whose sign I've seen everytime I've been in that region in the last 23 years. I found an urn and a candleholder for pretty cheap and in a matter of no more than 15 minutes. It was a short stop and not necessarily the type of pottery I really like.
It was interesting with the morning spent with a speaker regarding church planning and development. Worship was traditional with communion. Comissioned 2 lay preachers.
Missed some of the afternoon stuff. Oh well. I made a few copies of Presbytery Bingo, but didn't have time play and the meeting wasn't boring this time around. Will save it for next time!!!
Of course, when I returned home, the neighborhood block party had begun. There were at least three others of us who did not attend. I suppose it is just as well, as I was pretty tired from all driving that day and still had to go over my sermon and service and the Adult Sunday School lesson. Not attending the block party is still a sore spot between LH and I, we differ on the whole thing. But, it's over and we are busy.
I really felt it yesterday afternoon when I got home, ate lunch and could barely keep my eyes open and promptly feel asleep on the couch for an hour and a half!! Felt much better afterward.
Filled the Finch feeder with thistle seed, fed the Boys, rubbed Jett for a good long time. Rubbed Ben for awhile.
Made Beet Salad to go with some Brats. Did the dishes. Went over the Bible Study lesson and readings for Monday morning. Caught the season opener of "Desperate Housewives." Talked with my sister.
Hoping for a quieter weekend this week!

1) What is your favorite apple dish? (BIG BONUS POINTS if you include the recipe!)
Apple Crisp. No recipe since I prefer the crisps someone else makes!!!

2) Have you ever planted a tree? If so, was there a special reason or occasion you
can tell us about?
When we moved into our new home years ago, we had no lawn and no trees. I had
always wanted an eastern redbud (beautiful spring flowering tree), I really
like Birch trees and to plant a Gingko tree was on my Bucket List. So, we
planted a redbud out front (which has now died and will be replaced this fall).
We planted a River Clump Birch in the back and I, by sheer providence,
found and planted a Gingko tree. I enjoy my trees immensely.

3) Does the idea of roaming around the countryside (preaching or otherwise)appeal
to you? Why or why not?
I've done my share of roaming as an interim minister. I kinda like being in
one place for awhile. Alas, roaming seems to be in my blood, as both my parents
crossed the pond and my Dad had lived on three continents. I suppose I will
stay put only so long until I or LH will make a move to seek a new call.

4) Who is your favorite "historical legend"?
Wilhelm Tell. Duh. No brainer! Whose the biggest, best and baddest legend
in Switzerland? - William Tell!!! Sharpshooter extradonaire! Didn't take
c--p from the Austrians, stood his ground, united the peoples and a
country called Switzerland was wrested away from the Hapsburgs (Austrians)
and became a nation unto itself - free, democratic, and neutral.

5) Jonny Appleseed was said to sing to keep up his spirits as he traveled across
the west. Do you have song that comes to mind when you are trying to be
cheerful or is there something else that you often do?
Most often the Taize song: "In the Lord, I'll be ever thankful"

BONUS: What's your favorite apple variety?
Jonathan. Can't hardly find them in the store anymore so I eat Gala's.
Now it's your turn to share!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The floor care team has finally finished cleaning all the carpeting and floors in the Sanctuary, fellowship hall, downstairs classrooms and hallway. Interesting that the Offices were not cleaned! Hmmmm....But at least it is quiet today without the constant droning and noise from the machinery.
It is refreshing to have - quiet. The phones were quiet. No much traffic into the building today. Visits that didn't work out. So, it is quiet. Still. A time of prayerful work, of listening to the still, small voice that only comes in the sheer silence. I don't mind the quiet, a respite from the noise within and around me, to hear, to listen, to notice, to pay attention to God. There will be times when bustling through my day, I will have no silence. So, I will savor, cherish and honor this quietude and know I have no need to fill it up...
A 14 yr old computer tutor. Must be responsible, knowledgeable, able to explain in everyday language. Must have patience. Needs to be familiar with blogging, Skype, and other applications. One hour at a time for a reasonable fee.
I'm thinking it's time to advertise for some help. Sometimes, I feel like I'm falling further and further behind in all this technology.
This would make a great fundraiser - rent a teenager - for computer tutorials, or raking leaves. It would even make a great silent auction item!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008


As this vivid season begins, tell us 5 favorite things about fall:

1) A fragrance -
The scent of leaves burning, which doesn't happen much anymore because
of town rules and restrictions, especially on a crisp fall day.

2) A color -
Firey orange trees (well actually their leaves!)

3) An item of clothing -

4) An activity -
putting the garden to rest: cutting down, pulling out, and putting down
cow manure and raking it in

5) A special day -
I should say LH's birthday which is Thursday and happens in fall or my sister's
birthday on Tuesday, also fall. I could say our anniversary which is the
beginning of Dec. and still officially fall.
But this year, it will be a retreat in MI I'll be attending in two weeks!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I did not blog about Three Cups of Tea, merely mentioned in my vacation post that I had read it.
The book is still with me, not literally, but within me as I continue to reflect on the amazing web of relationships, the sacrifices, and the wonderful schools that have been built in Afghanistan & Pakistan by Greg Mortenson.
If I won the lottery, his organization would get quite a share.
I am humbled by his calling and work. And I lift up his integrity and honesty. The world, our young persons need more of these qualities.
If you haven't yet read the book, by all means, do! It is very readable, keeps your interest, inspires and encourages, touches and humbles.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Although we did not have the rain or storm sturges that our Texan brothers and sisters experienced, we did get the winds up to 70+ mph. For several hours late Sunday afternoon and evening the winds blew bringing down power lines, uprooting trees and shearing the tops off of pine trees.
Fortunately, we lost power only momentarily several times in the evening. Others were not so fortunate. Our subdivision has all of its power lines buried which makes all the sense in the world. The village where I serve lost power and school was cancelled, businesses closed and I worked at home. We cancelled Session and Worship Committee meetings and rescheduled for next week.
The residual winds of Ike, if you can call them residual at the rate Ike blustered through here, shredded our neighbor's play tower canopy which now bears a Halloweenish ghostly haunted house look.
Our prayers have been with the good people of Texas and those in all the countries Ike has touched.
We did get the rain we have sorely needed in these parts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. My rain gauge totalled 4+ inches. The frogs in the retention basins were celebrated their joy in song!
Will have a very long week next with several committee meetings and Presbytery that will be 1 hr. and 50 min. drive each way on that Saturday.
For now, I will enjoy the breathing space that was given as gift to me this day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The love of the faithful Creator
The peace of the wounded Healer
The joy of the challenging Spirit
The hope of the Three in One
surround and encourage you
today, tonight and forever.

(Kate McIlhagga)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

There are times...
when I could just smack LH! We will be the most unneighborly neighbors when the upcoming block party/pig roast someone in our part of the subdivision is hosting happens on the last Sat. of September. The invitation flyer came Labor Day weekend and along with the pig roast, there will be rented tents, tables, chairs, tableware (plastic and paper), an inflatable jumper, games and prizes for the kids. We are to bring a covered dish, our beverages and submit $35.00 per household regardless of how many children or no children.
So that became the sticking point for LH who succinctly stated,"I'm not paying $17.50 for a handful of pork, a paper plate and a chair." No amount of cajoling could convince him otherwise. He contends that the gathering will not even happen due to the cost. I contend that it will and we will be the only neighbors not in attendance. He promises to make it up to me if he is wrong. The bet is on.
In the meanwhile, I am thinking of ways he could make it up to me. Any ideas?

Monday, September 01, 2008


I took a bit of sunshine,
some of the goodness of earth
and rain
and saved the taste of summer
in the corn cobs I blanched
and stripped
all packaged neatly
in three freezer bags.
I placed them in the cold, dark
freezer where they will stay
suspended summer
until in the middle of winter
on a cold, bleak and grey day
I will open a bag of sunshine
and taste summer all over again.

A bit banged up, battered and bruised I am back from the Beach!! I actually met the challenge of Lake Michigan and went in and swam despite the waves and cold. Too hard to swim as it was choppy. Since the Lake level is higher this year and with the waves churning up the sand, I forgot about the two boulders that are there and promptly stepped on one, slid on it and scraped my knee. The biting flies found me a wonderful buffet bar and I banged my other knee on the quick closing screen door.
Despite that, I had a great time with my sister, BIL, and niece. Enjoyed two croquet games where I came in last and second to last!!! Yipee! My best standing ever!!
I did manage to beat LH at our Woertentaefelnspiel (Word Dice Game- fashioned after Scrabble), two nights running!!!
We discovered a new Cheese store - Cedar Valley Cheese Store with all kinds of cheese and cheese related items. Yes, I came home with Swiss cheese atenna topper!!!
(People will think I'm a cheesehead from WI rather than Swiss!!!) And we picked up the most incredible smoked salmon from Ewig Bros. in Port Washington, WI.
Since LH caught a bug and was sneezing up a storm on Monday, we spent a quiet day at the Lake on Tues. It was the most beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, there was a bit of wind making the Lake choppy and it was really cool - like 3/4 sleeve shirt and denim capri's cool, like you can sit in the sun all day and never got hot kinda cool. It was marvelous. I spent the day reading Three Cups of Tea, writing a poem, watching the Lake, going for a long walk on the beach and seeing the tail end of a snake slipping through the beach grass. I also saw the resident garter snake in the Lake House yard which I rather would not have liked to see at all. It slid between the rocks of the flower bed. (Ugh...shivers up the spine) Except for seeing the snakes, it was a perfect vacation day, a gift of Sabbath.
Now it's back to the hectic busyness of the fall season! (Sigh) I will treasure that vacation day through the year and pull it out when things get really crazy (like Advent/Christmas, Lent/Easter). Then I can savor it all over again.