Apr 28, 2008

Apr 27, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!

I did it! More info to come tomorrow at my training blog. Thanks to everyone who was so supportive -- you are awesome!

Apr 25, 2008

The half-marathon is tomorrow!!!

Check out the updates over at my training blog. More tomorrow. You can also donate online via the link on the right. Many thanks to my amazing donors and supporters!

Apr 12, 2008

Conversations in New Monasticism

Our community is hosting a School for Conversion this weekend. As part of the New Monasticism conversation, one thing we've been considering is what the tradition of monasticism might have to say to religious and spiritual life today. One of our sessions had the following thoughts, which I found very compelling. I need to chew on them a bit more, but here they are.

"By putting on a habit, by making vows, the religious is making a pledge of allegiance. By making a commitment to poverty or simplicity, I am by definition standing against the god of materialism. By making a commitment to chastity or monogamy, I am by definition standing against the god of sexual gratification. By making a commitment to obedience or humility, I am by definition making a stand against the god of power. By making a commitment to an ongoing conversion of life or to stability, I am by definition making a stand against the unexamined, ephemeral self of contemporary culture. Religious life, by its very nature, is an expression of resistance to some of the most pernicious values, ideologies, and structures of culture."
Obviously, the kind of monasticism practiced throughout the centuries is not what most of us would choose today, especially folks with families. But the core principles behind the movement can, I think, be translated into virtually every setting and situation.
Through the next few weeks, I'm going to be doing a series of posts about these commitments. I'm really hoping for lots of conversation from all of you. Feel free to post anonymously if you'd prefer, but please share what you think and how you feel.

Apr 11, 2008

Filthiness is Next to Godliness

This I believe to be the truth, especially in the spring.

On Tuesday, our friend Julius helped me to edge our front flower beds. We had too much coffee, too many doughnuts, too big a lunch at the Meadowthorpe cafe, and a great time in general. The sun was shining and the air was mild, and Miranda enjoyed helping us work (when she wasn't digging for worms and using her sidewalk chalk).

Miranda oversees the placement of the edging.

When I applied her sunscreen, I thought, "She's going to get absolutely filthy." And she did!

The semi-finished flower bed. I'll post pictures of the final draft tomorrow.

Apr 7, 2008

more gardening with Wunchie

Miranda has been helping me with our flats of flower seedlings. I really don't know what I'm doing, but I suppose we'll learn together. Here she's helping me fill shotglasses with water, to soak the seeds overnight before planting. (This facilitates germination.)

Miranda really got the hang of spraying the seedlings to moisten the soil.
I'll post some pics when the first growth emerges!

More amazing exploits of Wunchie

Here's the latest from Radio Free Wunchie:

  • She sounds a lot like Winston Churchill when she says the word "never." It comes out "nevah." And she's saying it a lot now, for emphasis of her points. As in, "I don't take a nap! Nevah! Nevah!"

  • (handing me a stick) "Mama, you break this in half for me, please?"

  • (looking at a Central American plaque of Saint Francis and the animals) "Miranda, what's that?" "A bird... and a peagog." "A peacock?" "Yes, a peagog." "Miranda, where did we hear about peacocks?" "From Grover!" "And where did Grover see peacocks?" "In... Africa."

  • "Where are the worms? Where are the WORMS???"

  • "Mommy, I want to ride in the truck." "Well, the truck is a little sick right now, so we have to take the car." (deep sigh) "I nevah get to ride in the truck... nevah." (And the Oscar goes to...)

Apr 1, 2008

701 Golfview Drive -- I miss you

Sounds strange, I know. Here I am in a beautiful house that's twice as big as the old one, lovely new kitchen, lovely fenced back yard, lovely neighborhood, and yet there are still things I miss about our home on Golfview Drive.

  • I miss how easy it was to feel in touch with the neighborhood while actually in the house. The kitchen window looked right out onto the side street, so I could see everyone walking by (and open up the window and say hello). The front windows offered a view of Golfview Drive and whomever was cruising by at the time.

  • The corner lot made it a central location. Whenever we were working on the flower bed, the herb bed or the vegetable garden, we could say hello to folks going by.

  • I miss our great mailman, who was so kind to John and always had news about folks in the neighborhood.

  • I miss our old bedroom. I love the color -- a deep russet red -- and how cozy the color made me feel. I especially miss the view from our bedroom window. We'd constructed a mini-ecosystem in that section of the yard, so we could see the vegetable garden, the trumpet vine, the honeysuckle, the rock garden, and 2 bird feeders from our window. I'd planted a flowering crabapple just outside the window, and its leaves, flowers, and fruit were lovely to behold. It also drew cardinals and mockingbirds. I also planted a mock orange just outside the window, whose sweet scent was a gift on summer evenings. And we could watch the progress of the daylilies that I'd planted underneath the window.

  • I miss the things we planted during our time there. The herbs who were 7 years old the month we moved, the japanese honeysuckle and the trumpet vine, the cranesbill in the front bed that grew 1000% during its 6 years, the coral bells (which I got from a professor at Asbury) encircling the birdbath. The mohawk viburnum, whose red berries were the same ones I carried in my wedding bouquet.

  • I miss the guest bathroom, which I redecorated southwestern-Texan-adobe. I loved that room.

There are plenty of things that are wonderful about the new house, but that's for another post. Today, I just want to grieve all the things I left at 701 Golfview Drive.